Viburnum farreri 'Nanum'

Common Name: viburnum 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Adoxaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers acidic, moist but well-drained loams. Do not allow soils to dry out. Pruning after flowering may be done, but will eliminate some of the mid-summer to fall fruit display.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Viburnum farreri is a loose, upright, rounded, deciduous viburnum that is native to mountainous areas of northern China. Typically matures in a compact rounded form to 10' (8-12') tall and as wide over time. Elliptic to oval heavily veined leaves (to 3" long) have toothed margins. Veins and petioles are reddish. Leaves mature to dark green in summer, but turn reddish-purple in fall. Fragrant white or pink flowers with tubular corollas bloom in lateral and terminal panicled cymes (to 2" long) in late March on bare wood before the leaves emerge (one of the earliest to bloom of the viburnums). Flowers survive in temperatures to 20°F, but freeze in colder temperatures. Some flowering may occur in fall in areas where the weather remains warm, however the fall bloom tends to reduce the amount of bloom in spring. Flowers are followed by fruits which mature from scarlet to black from mid-summer to fall. Fruiting is often sparse. This species is also sometimes commonly called fragrant viburnum.

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

Specific epithet honors English plant hunter and botanist Reginald John Ferrer (1880-1920).

'Nanum' is a compact cultivar that typically grows to only 2-4' tall and as wide over time. It features a late winter to early spring bloom of tiny, fragrant, light pink flowers in panicles. It may have somewhat sparse flowering in its early years. Small, semi-glossy, bronze-green leaves to (to 2 1/2" long). Michael Dirr observes that 'Nanum' "can either delight or shock depending on condition."


No serious insect or disease problems. Potential diseases include verticillium wilt, gray mold, dieback and wood rot. Borers may appear.


Specimen or small groups. Shrub borders, foundations, low hedges.