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TREES & Plants

Leatherleaf viburnum

Leatherleaf viburnum is an evergreen shrub, but in northern climates the evergreen leaves may be damaged by winter.  While the creamy white flowers light up the spring landscape, this species offers no fall color change and very little fruiting.

Botanical name: 
Viburnum rhytidophyllum
All Common Names: 
Leatherleaf viburnum
Family (English): 
Elderberry
Family (Botanic): 
Adoxaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
Growth Rate: 
  • Medium
Light Exposure: 
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Fragrant
  • White
Size Range: 
  • Compact tree (10-15 feet)
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Multi-stemmed
  • Upright
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Massing
  • Hedge
  • Mixed border
  • Screen
Time of Year: 
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
  • Early fall
  • Mid fall
More Information: 

Size

10 to 15 feet high and wide

Tree & Plant Care

Site in a protected area to avoid damage to evergreen foliage

Prune after flowering

Disease, pests, and problems

No serious problems

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to China

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Leatherleaf viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum)Leatherleaf viburnum leavesphoto: John Hagstrom

Simple leaves in pairs (opposite)

Leathery and evergreen

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Small, creamy white flowers in flat-topped to slightly domed clusters

Slight fragrance

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Berry-like fruit (drupes), red maturing to black