Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist loams, but tolerates a wide range of soils. Best with consistent and even moisture. Prune as needed immediately after flowering.
Viburnum plicatum, commonly called Japanese snowball bush, is a dense, upright, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub which produces snowball-like spherical inflorescences of sterile white flowers along its branches in spring. This species is sterile.
Forma tomentosum, commonly called doublefile viburnum, is the fertile form that was discovered later in time than the sterile species. It is a dense, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with distinctively tiered horizontal branching. It typically matures over time in a broad-rounded form to 8-10’ tall with a slightly larger spread. It is native to forests and thickets in China and Japan. Flowers bloom in late April-May in flat-topped, lacecap-like clusters (each to 2-4” but less frequently to 6” wide) which extend along the branches and above the foliage in double rows, hence the common name of doublefile viburnum. Each cluster has an outer ring of large, showy, snow-white, sterile florets (each to 1-2” across) surrounding a central mass of tiny non-showy fertile florets which when fertilized give way to egg-shaped 1/3” long fruits (red maturing to black) and viable seed. Ovate, toothed, strongly-veined, dark green leaves (to 4" long) turn burgundy red to purplish red in fall. A large number of cultivars have been introduced into commerce.
Genus name come from the Latin name of a species plant.
Specific epithet comes from the Latin word plicatum meaning pleated or folded in reference to leaf veins.
Forma name comes from the Latin tomentosum meaning woolly in reference to fine hairs on young stems and leaf undersides.
‘Mariesii’ is a doublefile viburnum noted for its distinctively layered horizontal branching. It is a broad, dense, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub that typically matures to 10-12’ tall and spreads to 15’ wide. Non-fragrant flowers in flat-topped, lacecap-like clusters bloom in profusion along the branches in April or May. Flower clusters appear in two rows or files, hence the common name. Each flower cluster (4-6” wide) has small non-showy inner fertile flowers with a showy outer ring of pure white sterile flowers. Pollinated fertile flowers give way in summer to red berry-like drupes which eventually mature to black. Fruits are ornamentally attractive and a food source for birds. Ovate, serrate, dark green leaves (to 5” long) turn reddish purple in fall. ‘Mariesii’ honors Chelsea gardener Charles Maries (1851-1902).
No serious insect or disease problems.
Specimen or groups. Shrub borders, foundations or hedges.