Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist loams, but tolerates a wide range of soils including boggy ones. Prune lightly, only as needed, in fall. Pruning after flowering may be done, but will eliminate some of the late summer fruit display. For best cross-pollination and subsequent fruit display, plant shrubs in groups rather than as single specimens.
Viburnum nudum, commonly called smooth witherod, is a rounded, multi-stemmed, upright-spreading, deciduous shrub that typically grows in the wild to 5-12’ tall and as wide. It is native to low woods, swamps and bogs in the eastern and southeastern U.S. from Connecticut south to Florida and Louisiana. It features aromatic white flowers arranged in flat-topped clusters (cymes 2-5” wide) in May-June. Flowers are followed by clusters of ovoid berries that change color as they ripen, from light pink to deep pink to blue to purplish-black. The berries are highly acidic but edible. Elliptic to oblong-lanceolate glossy dark green leaves (to 4” long). Foliage sometimes turns an attractive maroon to dark red-purple in fall. In late summer to early fall, berries in shades of both deep pink and blue-purple often appear on the same cluster, in striking contrast to the foliage. This species is also sometimes commonly called possumhaw viburnum.
Genus name comes from the Latin name of a species plant.
Specific epithet means nude or naked.
‘Winterthur’ is a compact cultivar that typically grows to 6’ tall in cultivation. Leaves are somewhat glossier than those of the species. An introduction of Winterthur Gardens in Delaware. Winner of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal (Steyer Award) in 1991.
No serious insect or disease problems.
Specimen or groups. Shrub borders, foundations, hedges or roadside plantings. Good selection for low spots and peripheries of water gardens, streams or ponds.