Nannyberry is grown as a large shrub or a small tree reaching 15 to 20 feet high, known for its dark, lustrous green leaves which turn maroon-red in the fall.
This Midwest native is typically found in woodlands and wood edges, a great plant for naturalizing.
"This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research."
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area,
- North America
- 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 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7
- Alkaline soil,
- Dry soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Wet sites,
- Occasional flooding,
- Alkaline soil
Season of Interest:
- Late spring,
- Late summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size & form
15 to 20 feet high and 10 to 15 feet wide.
Small tree to multi-stemmed shrub with slightly arching branches and suckering habit.
Tree & Plant Care
Very adaptable from full sun to shade, in dry sites to moist, wet sites.
Flowers on old wood, prune after flowering to maintain size and shape.
Moderate degree of salt tolerance.
Disease, pests, and problems
Viburnum crown borer
Native geographic location and habitat
Found in wet to poorly drained site, bogs, prairie habitats and wood edges.
New Brunswick south to Georgia and west to Manitoba and Colorado
Attracts birds & butterflies
Birds are attracted to the fruit that ripens in the fall and often persists into December.
This plant is a caterpillar and larva host to the spring azure butterfly.
Bark color and texture
Bark is dark, brownish-black with a blocky appearance
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Opposite, long, oval-shaped leaves with slightly toothed, wavy edges and a winged leafstalk.
Glossy dark green with a lighter underside changing to reddish-purple fall color.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small, creamy white flowers in 4 1/4-inch, flat-topped to slightly domed clusters. Flowers have no fragrance.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Berry-like fruit (drupes) starting out yellow and red and maturing to blue or black.