Drive through a fast-food parking lot and you're likely to see the only Viburnum that is commonly planted - the David Viburnum (Viburnum davidii).

We have nothing against this plant - it's used for good reasons (flexible water needs, evergreen, okay with reflected parking lot heat). But don't make the mistake of judging all Viburnums by one over-used plant, because the Viburnum world is so much more! 

Viburnums, commonly called Arrowwoods, are a large group of trouble free shrubs. Many, but not all, have fragrant flowers. Some have evergreen leaves, but the ones that don't, develop beautiful bright orange, red or purple fall color before they drop. Most Arrowwoods have berries that feed birds and other wildlife during fall and winter.

Here's a list of some of our favorites:

viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn'

Viburnum bodnantense: Dawn Viburnum

Pink scented flowers in clusters begin to open in January and continue sporadically through winter. New leaves are dark green tinged red, green in summer & orange-red in autumn before falling off. Red berries in autumn are good for birds.

Grows 8-10’ x 8-10’, sun-part shade, Z4.

Viburnum carlesii B

Viburnum V. carlesii: Korean Spice

Clusters of pink flower buds open to white heavily scented flowers in March-April. Leaves are simple & fuzzy when new with orange-red fall color.

Grows 8’ x 7’, Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum’ grows 4’ x 6’. Sun-pt shade, Z5


Viburnum davidii: David Viburnum

Flat clusters of white flowers in April, shiny blue fruits in fall, quilted evergreen leaves are long and lance shape. Broad mounding bun shape.

Grows up to 3-5’ x 3-5’, sun or shade, Z7

Viburnum farreri 'Nanu'

Viburnum farreri ‘Nanum’: Dwarf Fragrant Viburnum

Pink fragrant flowers in February & March, before leaves appear. Green leaves are tinged red in spring, bright red to purple fall color and deciduous. Fruit starts red & turns black but is sparse, so not very showy.

Grows 3-4’ x 3-4’, sun-pt shade, Z5

viburnum opulus Sterile

Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’(’Roseum’): Snowball Viburnum

Globe-shape flower clusters are lime green to start & turn white as they mature. Blooms in May. Green 3-lobed leaves turn bright orange, yellow & red before falling in autumn. This version is sterile, so produces no berries.

Grows 10-12’, sun-part shade, Z4

viburnum plicatum tomentosum

Viburnum plicatum tomentosum: Doublefile Viburnum

White lacecap flowers line branches, hovering above the leaves for a tiered effect. Blooms in May. Leaves are simple & green, turning fire engine red in autumn before dropping. Small clusters of red fruits dot branches in summer.

Grows 8-10’ x 8-10’. Sun-part shade — if in a very hot sunny spot, protect the roots w/ mulch or ground cover, Z5


Viburnum rhytidophylloides: Leatherleaf or Allegheny Viburnum

White flowers in clusters in May, unscented. Evergreen lance-shape leathery leaves. Red fruit turns black.

Grows 10-15’, sun-part shade, Z5

viburnum sargentii Onondaga

Viburnum sargentii ‘Onondaga’: Onondaga Sargent Viburnum

One of the prettiest Viburnums. Delicate lace-cap flowers - white sterile flowers edge flat clusters of small pink fertile flowers. New leaves are maroon to orange, turn green in summer & bright red in autumn before dropping. Few fruits.

Grows 8-10’ x 6-8’, sun-part shade, Z4

viburnum tinus 'Spring Bouquet'

Viburnum tinus ‘Spring Bouquet’: Spring Bouquet Laurustinus Viburnum

Maroon flower buds wait all winter to open in spring. White flower clusters in March-April. Dark evergreen leaves. Metallic blue fruit in autumn.

Grows 5-6’ x 3-4’, sun-pt shade, Z7 — leaves are damaged by cold winds & temps below 15f. Plant in a spot that’s protected in winter winds.