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, is listed at the bottom of this page.
- 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
- Mid spring,
- Late spring,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Size & form
A dense compact suckering shrub grows 6 to 15 feet high and wide.
Often confused with 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 fine 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 to domed clusters.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Berry like fruit changing 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 foot high shrub with upright, arching stems, Leaf surface has a waxy, shiny, flat-topped, white flower clusters are followed by colorful, green to pink to blue fruit. Excellent reddish-purple fall color. It is native to low woods, swamps and bog areas if eastern and southeastern U.S.