Viburnum rhytidophyllum
Common Name: leatherleaf viburnum 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Adoxaceae
Native Range: Central and western China
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Foliage may die back (sometimes to the ground) in sub-zero winter temperatures, so in the St. Louis area, it is best to plant this shrub in a protected location shielded from winter winds. If shrub loses good form or needs revitalization, prune to the ground. Otherwise, prune immediately after flowering since flower buds form in summer for the following year.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Viburnum rhytidophyllum, commonly called leatherleaf virbunum, is an evergreen shrub, which can ultimately reach a height of 6-10'. Produces flat cymes of creamy white flowers in the spring and berries in early fall which first appear red and then change to a glossy black. Berries will often persist to the end of December. Ovate-oblong to ovate-lanceolate leaves are dark green, somewhat shiny and puckered. Foliage is evergreen in the South but at best semi-evergreen in the St. Louis area where it can suffer significant decline in winter.

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

Specific epithet means with wrinkled leaves.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Plant in groups or mix with other broadleaf shrubs. May be grown as a hedge. Shrub also has good specimen value due to creamy white flowers, fall/early winter berries and evergreen foliage.