Viburnum cassinoides
Common Name: witherod viburnum
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Adoxaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 5.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist loams, but tolerates a wide range of soils including boggy ones. For best cross-pollination and subsequent fruit display, plant shrubs in groups rather than as single specimens. Prune as needed in late fall or early spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Viburnum cassinoides is commonly called witherod viburnum. Withe (from Old English) means flexible twig and rod means slender shoot or stem. It is native primarily to northeastern North America (hence the occasional common name of northern witherod) where it is typically found in low woods, fields, swamps, marshes, pond peripheries and bogs. It is closely related to Viburnum nudum, and is sometimes designated as V. nudum var. cassenoides. V. nudum is primarily native to southeastern North America (hence the occasional common name of southern witherod). Both species are noted for having handsome fruit displays. V. cassinoides is a dense, rounded, multi-stemmed, upright-spreading, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 5- 6' (less frequently to 12') tall. Elliptic to ovate leaves (to 3 1/2" long) sometimes with crenulate margins emerge in spring with bronze tones, mature to a dull dark green in summer and finally turn attractive shades of orange-red to red-purple in fall. Creamy white flowers (3/16" across) in flat-topped clusters (cymes 2-5" wide) bloom in late spring (May-June). Flowers are followed by green fruit (5/16" long) that turns pink to red to blue to black in fall (sometimes with two or more colors simultaneously displayed in the same cluster. Berries provide sharp contrast to the foliage, and will remain on the plant after foliage drop to provide excellent winter interest. Other common names for this shrub are blue haw, swamp haw and wild raisin.

Genus name comes from the Latin name of a species plant.

Specific epithet means resembling Ilex cassine.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Occasional insect pests include aphids, borers, nematodes, scale and thrips. Occasional disease problems include anthracnose, leaf spots and powdery mildew.

Garden Uses

Ornamental shrub featuring excellent spring flowers, fall color and fall-winter fruit. Mass, groups or specimen/accent. Shrub borders, foundations, hedges or roadside plantings. Water garden peripheries. Naturalized areas.