Friday, May 30, 2014


I have a number of different types of Viburnum in my garden. One has bloomed already but the other 3 are in full bloom now.

Viburnum opulus (Snowball Bush) is a large shrub growing at least 10' by 10'. It is hardy to Zone 3. It's extremely versatile - it will grow in pretty much any type of soil and doesn't mind sun or part shade.

The flower heads are dense but not fragrant. When the blossoms start to fall apart, it looks like there's confetti on the ground.

Very close by the V. opulus, I have Viburnum plicatum 'Popcorn' (Japanese Snowball). This shrub has nearly identical flowerheads, but is much smaller in size growing 5-8' high and 4-7' wide. It grows Zones 5-8.  'Popcorn' has strongly veined leaves which has, no doubt, prevented it from succumbing to a rotten little insect - the Viburnum Leaf beetle - which has eaten all the leaves from opulus in years past.

Doublefile Viburnum - Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum 'Mariesii' - is one of the loveliest shrubs in my garden.

It produces white blossoms in May and obviously survives in deep shade (which is where mine is) but prefers sun to partial shade. The neatest part of this plant is that flowers bloom on distinct tiered horizontal branches. The leaves turn a lovely burgundy colour in the fall. Its a Zone 5-8 and grows 10-12' high and 12-15' wide.

The last Viburnum that I'd like to mention is the one that actually bloomed first! Viburnum x burkwoodii already bloomed in early May and is done.

Viburnum x burkwoodii grows well in full sun, Zones 4-8 and at full size is 8-10' high and 6-7' wide.
It is gorgeously fragrant and definitely one of the first delicious scents of spring.

Please check my food blog which features The (nearly perfect) Burger….:) Try it during BBQ season!


HELENE said...

Oooh, they are all perfect and so lovely. I miss having at least one of these in my garden, but it’s the old problem again – space! I have a Viburnum 'Farreri' that I have trimmed over the years to a thin tall column, not exactly how it is supposed to grow, but if it wants to grow in my garden it just has to conform :-) Thanks for sharing yours, lovely photos.

Nadezda said...

Astrd, all these viburnums are gorgeous. I have this one Viburnum plicatum, but this summer it's not lucky - the aphid eats its leaves and flowers. I sprayed and now am waiting for result.I love your Viburnum x burkwoodii, it's hardy and you say that is for 4-5 zones, so it suits for me. Is it resistant to diseases?

Jennifer said...

I have had mixed luck with Viburnum. I inherited one large shrub and it is a trooper. I also had another that was defoliated by leaf beetle every year. Finally I ripped it out. Now my new Viburnum opulus (Snowball Bush) has the same problem.
I always admire those Doublefile Viburnum. How does that do with those dreaded leaf beetles?

Astrid said...

Hi Helene
You are very creative in making plants "fit" into your garden! Bravo!

Hi Nadezda
Yes, Viburnum x burkwoodii seems quite resistant to bugs and disease.

Hi Jennifer
The leaf beetles leave Doublefile alone. "Popcorn" has such thick variegated leaves that it too has fended off the nasty muncher.

debsgarden said...

Gorgeous! Burkwoodii has to be one of my favorites because of the fragrance, but I also love Viburnum opulus because of those giant balls. I have never grown Viburnum plicatum, but yours if a sight to promote plant lust!

Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening said...

Astrid-your Viburnum are all gorgeous! You must have such a wonderful fragrance in your yard to enjoy. I have Viburnum 'Summer Snowflake' and 'Carlcephalum'.

Astrid said...

Hi Deb
There are so many lovely Viburnum - glad you have some of them to enjoy!

Hi Lee
Just saw a lot of Snowflake on a garden tour last week. Scrumptious!