Witherod viburnum is a large, upright-spreading, suckering shrub, native to North America. It tolerates both shady and wet sites, excellent for shrub borders, naturalizing and woodland sites. It may be difficult to find in nurseries.
A related species, Possum-haw (Viburnum nudum), is listed at the bottom of this page.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- North America
- Mixed border
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Acid soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil,
- Wet soil
Season of Interest:
- Mid spring,
- Late spring,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size & form
A dense compact suckering shrub which grows 6 to 15 feet high and wide.
Often confused with Possum-haw (Viburnum nudum).
Tree & Plant Care
Grows in part shade, tolerant of full sun with adequate soil moisture.
Prefers wet, acidic sites, but will tolerate moist, well-drained soil.
Prune after flowering.
Disease, pests, and problems
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to the Northeastern United States and states along the Gulf Coast.
Often found in bogs and swamps.
Bark color and texture
Smooth, gray-brown bark dotted with lenticels.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Opposite; simple 3 to 4 inch long, elliptical leaves with short pointed tips and finely serrated teeth margins.
Medium green, with rust-colored dots along mid-rib and leaf base.
Fall color ranges from orange to red to purple.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small creamy white flowers in flat-topped clusters.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Berry like fruit changes from green to yellow, then pink, red and black.
All colors may be present in the same fruit cluster.
Fruit tends to persist through much of fall.
Related species and their differences
Possum-Haw or Smooth Witherod (Viburnum nudum): A dense, 8 to 12 feet high shrub with upright, arching stems. Leaf surface has a waxy, shiny, medium green color that changes to an excellent reddish-purple fall color. The flat-topped, white flower clusters are followed by colorful, green to pink to blue fruit. It is native to low woods, swamps and bog areas in Eastern and Southeastern U.S.