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Woody > Viburnum > Viburnum Prunifolium > Viburnum prunifolium

Viburnum Prunifolium

Blackhaw Viburnum

Origin:  Connecticut, Michigan, Florida, Texas,
Adoxaceae (Caprifoliaceae)
Shrub (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
3a - 9b
Canadian Hardiness Zone
3a - 4a
RHS Hardiness Zone
H3 - H7
Temperature (°C)
-40 - (-1)
Temperature (°F)
-40 - 30
3.9 m - 4.9 m
2.6 m - 3.9 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
A deciduous plant that has showy Spring and Autumn colours with edible berries that tend to last into the winter.
Used typically in the landscape for screening, mass planting, to attract birds and for its seasonal interest.
Grows best in full sun to partial shade. Prefers moist, well drained soils. It is drought tolerant, generally urban tolerant and can adapt to most soils, acidities and weather conditions.
Multi-stemmed upright shrub or tree with an irregular rounded shape.
ID Characteristic
Oval fruit that turns from green, to light pink and finally to a near black. It has clusters of creamy-white flowers and a stiff, upright rounded shape.
No known pests. Prone to mildew in late August to early September that lasts until its leaves drop.
Moist woods, thickets, stream banks.
Bark/Stem Description
Multi-stemmed grey-brown trunk with stout, stiff-looking twigs. The twigs are reddish-brown with prominent winter buds. With age the bark becomes square and shredded-looking.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
The vegetative bud is a pinkish-brown with two scales. It has a narrow oval shape and is about 1 cm long. The flower bud is similar in colour, with two scales, but is bigger and plumper at the bottom and narrows at the top. The flower bud is also about 1 cm long.
Leaf Description
Simple with an opposite leaf arrangement. The leaves themselves are finely serrated with a length of 2.5 - 7.5 cm and a width of 5 cm.
Flower Description
Creamy-white flat-topped inflorescence with dense cymes forming with each flower, being anywhere from 5-10 cm long.
Fruit Description
Clusters of small, round fruit about 5 cm in width. These fruits are enjoyed by birds and can be used for jams and jellies.
Colour Description
In the spring, two-shaded light and dark green leaves are visible with creamy-white flowers and green fruit. In autumn, the fruit will start to turn pink as the leaves start to take anywhere from dark green, burgundy, red, orange, yellow and purple. The fruit ripens to a blackish-blue end colour. Once all the leaves have fallen to the ground, its grey-brown bark and reddish-brown twigs are fully visible.
Texture Description
Notable Specimens
Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis, MO.
Propagation by seed or cuttings. Once the seed is ripe, put into a cold frame at 5° C. From here it requires two months of warmth followed by another three months of cold. It can be planted thereafter but may still take up to eighteen months to germinate. Cuttings should ideally be 5 - 8 cm long, with a heel if possible. Cuttings need to be done between July and August, and then put into a cold frame until the following spring. By this point they should root and you can pot the plant until firmly rooted.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Bark and root bark used for traditional medicinal purposes.
Dirr, M. (2008). Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. Champaign, IL: Stipes Pub. SAYRE, L. E. (1895, August). Botanical Medicine Monographs and Sundry VIBURNUM PRUNIFOLIUM AND VIBURNUM OPULUS. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY Volume 67, #8. Retrieved from