Southern Black-Haw is an attractive large shrub or small tree with lustrous, waxy green foliage, creamy-white flowers in mid-spring, dark blue berries on red stems and shiny, maroon to deep burgundy fall color. Native to the south east U.S. A great 4-season plant for the Midwest.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- North America
- 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 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Mid spring,
- Late spring,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Size & form
A large rounded shrub to small tree
Often reaching 10 to 30 feet high and wide in the wild, typically 10 to 12 feet in landscape conditions.
Tree & Plant Care
Best in well-drained woodland settings, can grow in full sun with adequate soil moisture.
Mulch to conserve moisture. Drought tolerant once established.
Flowers on old stems, prune after flowering.
Root suckers may need to be removed to minimize the width of the plant.
Disease, pests, and problems
No serious problems.
Native geographic location and habitat
Southern United States
Found on dry, rocky wooded slopes and forest edges.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Glossy, leathery dark green, oval leaves turn burgundy in autumn. They are arranged in pairs (opposite) along the branches.
Terminal buds are 2-scaled and covered with rusty-colored hairs.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Broad clusters of small creamy-white flowers in late-spring. Flowers have little to no fragrance.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
This plant yields shiny, blue-black fruit on red stalks (peduncles).
Cultivars and their differences
Emerald Charm™ Southern black-haw viburnum (Viburnum rufidulum 'Morton'): A compact shrub growing10 to 12 feet high and 8 to 10 feet wide. Dark glossy green foliage turns burgundy in the fall. Excellent cold hardiness. A Chicagoland Grows™ introduction.
Royal Guard Southern black-haw viburnum (Viburnum rufidulum 'Royal Guard'): A more compact shrub growing 8 to 15 feet high and 6 to 10 feet wide. Good, rich burgundy fall color.