This large shrub or small tree growing 15 to 20 feet tall. It has glossy, dark green leaves with toothed edges. In May creamy-white flowers are followed later with clusters of red berries. The shiny dark green leaves turn a burgundy in fall.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Mixed border,
- Small tree (15-25 feet),
- Compact tree (10-15 feet),
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7
- Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest:
- Mid spring,
- Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Form
A large shrub or small tree grows 15 to 20 feet high with a 15 feet spread.
Open habit with stiff horizontal branches
Tree & Plant Care
Best in full sun in moist, well drained soil.
Water in dry periods.
Prune after flowering in spring.
This plant is difficult to locate in nurseries.
Disease, pests, and problems
No serious diseases or pests.
Scorch may be a problem in too dry sites.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Japan.
Bark color and texture
The gray bark is blocky and broken in small plates resembling alligator skin.
Branches are grayish, slightly pubescent, stiff and ridgid.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
photo: John Hagstrom
Opposite, elliptical leaves are 3 to 5 inches long with a toothed margins and deeply ridged veins.
Leaves are dark green in summer and may pick up some red-purple color in the fall.
Smells like green pepper when crushed.
Some cultivars have been selected for improved fall color.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small, creamy white flowers in a loose, open clusters on long stalks.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
The fruit is a cluster of small berry-like drupes, changing color from green to to red to nearly black.
Once fruit drops the inflorescence remain rosy-red and showy.
Ironclad™ Siebold viburnum (Viburnum sieboldii 'KLMfour'): 15 feet high and 12 feet wide; a heavy flowering form with reliable burgundy fall color.
Wavecrest Siebold viburnum (Viburnum sieboldii 'Wavecrest'): 7 to 8 feet high and 4 feet wide; thick dark green leaves turn a brick-red fall color; orange-red fruit and scarlet peduncles.