Wayfaring tree is often chosen for planting because of its adaptability and reliability. However, plants often appear ‘leggy,’ so they look better near the back of the border, in mass, or in groupings. Wayfaring tree is also useful for naturalizing. The plant’s handsome fruit are an outstanding feature, beginning yellow and changing to red and black, often displaying all three colors on the same cluster.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
- Mixed border
- 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
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Late spring
10 to 15 feet high and wide.
Tree & Plant Care
Prune after flowering.
Disease, pests, and problems
No serious problems.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Europe and Asia.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
The simple leaves in occur in pairs (opposite) and have a somewhat leathery appearance.
Dark green leaves seldom develop good fall color.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small, creamy white flowers in flat-topped to slightly-domed clusters in spring.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Berry-like fruits (drupes) changing from yellow to red and black often with all color on the same cluster.
Fruiting is maximized when different cultivars are in close proximity.
Cultivars and their differences
Mohican (Viburnum lantana ‘Mohican’: This cultivar is more compact (8-10’) . Thick, leathery, dark green leaves turn a purplish-red fall color. Attractive orange-red fruit in early July maintains color for 4 weeks or more.