Viburnum lantana

Common Name: wayfaring tree 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Adoxaceae
Native Range: Europe, northern Africa, Asia Minor, Caucusus, northwestern Iran
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought


Grow in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates dry soils once established. Tolerates alkaline conditions better than most other species of viburnum. Prune as needed immediately after flowering because flower buds form in summer for the following year. For best fruit set, plant shrubs in groups to facilitate good cross-pollination. Shrubs will self-seed, and have escaped gardens and naturalized in some parts of the U.S.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Viburnum lantana, commonly known as wayfaringtree viburnum, is native to Europe, western Asia and North Africa. It has naturalized in the northeastern U.S. It is a deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub that typically grows to 10-15' tall and as wide. Mature shrubs grow large and somewhat coarse. Thick, leathery, rough-textured, finely-toothed, ovate, dark green leaves (to 2-5" long) have rounded to cordate bases. Leaves turn dark green with some purplish-red tones in fall. Quality of fall color often varies from year to year. Small white flowers in flat-topped clusters (cymes to 3-5" diameter) bloom in spring (May in St. Louis). Flowers give way in July to red, berry-like drupes which hold their showy color for about one month before turning black. Fruit set can be disappointing in some years. Although in its native habitat this shrub is somewhat common along waysides, the origin/meaning of the common name of wayfaringtree is unclear. V. lantana is one of the parents of V. rhytidophylloides.

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

Specific epithet is a late Latin name for Viburnum.


No serious insect or disease problems. Powdery mildew may occur.


Plant in groups or mix with other broadleaf shrubs. Shrub borders. May be grown as a screen or hedge.