Viburnum rufidulum

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: rusty blackhaw viburnum 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Adoxaceae
Native Range: Southern United States
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy, Edible


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Plants generally grow denser in full sun, but in the St. Louis area may do best with some light afternoon shade. More than one plant should be used in order to facilitate proper pollination necessary for abundant fruit production. Promptly remove root suckers to prevent colonial spread unless naturalization is desired.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Viburnum rufidulum, commonly called southern black haw, rusty black haw or rusty nannyberry, is a deciduous, suckering shrub or small tree that typically grows 10-20’ tall. It is native from Virginia to Florida west to Kansas and Texas, including Missouri where it typically occurs in rocky or dry woods, valleys, rocky glades, thickets and along streams mostly south of the Missouri River (Steyermark). Glossy, leathery, ovate to obovate leaves (to 4” long) are dark green. Leaf undersides, buds and young stems are covered with rusty brown hairs. Tiny white flowers in showy rounded cymes (to 5” across) bloom in spring. Flowers are followed by clusters of elliptic, edible, dark blue berries (to 3/8” long) that ripen in September-October. Birds are attracted to the fruit. Foliage turns reddish purple in fall. Southern black haw is distinguished from the similar black haw (V. prunifolium) by its glossy green leaves and rusty brown hairs.

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

Specific epithet means rusty colored.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Screens, hedges, shrub borders or native plant areas. Grow as a shrub or tree. Spring flowers, summer foliage, fall fruit and fall foliage color make this an interesting ornamental landscape plant. May be grown as a specimen if heavy fruit production is not a concern.