It sits quietly at the intersection where the bottom of one hill becomes top of the next. It’s on the side of the house I don’t visit too often because, well, nothing goes on over there. Wildlife has an undisturbed area to inhabit.
However, branches hang into the neighbor’s yard. I walk closer with my trimmers to see why they’re hanging. And there they are – the most beautiful little blue black berries in clusters weighing down the branches of Arrowwood viburnum! I leave them alone. Instead I make a note to trim back the bush after it flowers next spring.
1. The shrub Arrowwood viburnum or Viburnum dentatum is native to the eastern part of North America.
2. It thrives in Zones 2-8.
3. Arrowwood has multiple trunks. The largest are about one inch in diameter. The name arrowwood is attributed to the use of stems by Native Americans. Straight stems became shafts for arrows.
4. It grows about ten feet high and five feet wide. The leaves are heart shaped with slight ridges throughout. Their edges look as if they were cut with decorative scissors. Leaves are green until fall then turn yellow, red or red-purple.
5. In late spring and early summer unscented lacy white flowers cover the bush. Blue black berries form and remain on the branches as food for birds in winter.
6. Birds like the berries. Bees and butterflies are frequent visitors.
This viburnum couldn’t be easier to care for:
- Plant in full sun.
- Tolerates many types of soil including clay, but best in an equal mix of clay, sand and humus.
- Water needs are average to moist. Likes a well-draining location. Tolerates the occasional super wet weather, including the runoff from the roof of the house next door.
- Prune after flowering in spring.
The Viburnum leaf beetle can be a problem. According to Cornell University’s website for viburnum leaf beetles the best way to control their spread is to look for infested branches from fall through spring. Remove the diseased branches and place them in a plastic bag and into the garbage. Do not compost diseased plant material as it will spread the problem.
Grow one as a specimen or grow them as a hedge. Cut some branches with leaves and berries in fall and add to an indoor bouquet.
Easy care, spring flowers and fall berries make the Arrowwood viburnum a joy. No hard work needed to have a little beauty in the yard!
Copyright 2018 Juli Seyfried