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


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