Sunday, September 26, 2021

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 74: arrowwood viburnum

 Doug Tallamy mentioned this as a highly beneficial plant to put in if you’re wanting to help insects, birds, and other wildlife. It’s native in many states and offers year round interest in the garden. I was happy to find one at this year’s NCBG plant sale, though I wasn’t sure if it would go in Poplar Folly or the bird haven garden area.

After being in the bird haven space yesterday I decided that this will go in the very corner of that area where it will have room to round out and create both a screen and mid-height layer in this garden space. From the street side it will be behind the southern bayberries that are outside our front fence, and to the right of a lovely redbud that sits just outside the corner. 

From inside the bird haven area, it will be at the top corner, with hearts a bustin’ and southern shield ferns in front of it. In my mind’s eye, it will be perfect. Sometimes my mind’s eye is accurate, and sometimes I don’t quite nail it, but I’m going to give this a try. 

More on this lovely shrub:

Viburnum dentatum (Southern arrowwood)
Cressler, Alan 

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum dentatum L.

Southern Arrowwood

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)


USDA Symbol: vide

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A 6-8 ft. shrub, sometimes taller, with multiple, erect-arching stems in a loose, round habit. White, flat-topped flower clusters are followed by dark blue berries. Lustrous, dark-green foliage turns yellow to wine-red in fall. A shrub with downy twigs, coarsely toothedleaves, and flat-topped clusters of small, white flowers. Some botanists recognize two separate species for this highly variable plant, the other being northern Arrowwood (V. recognitum) with smooth twigs. 


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial 
Habit: Shrub 
Leaf Retention: Deciduous 
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite 
Leaf Complexity: Simple 
Leaf Shape: Elliptic , Ovate 
Leaf Margin: Serrate 
Size Notes: Many branced shrub to 10 feet. 
Leaf: Shiny dark green above, pale below. 
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower: Flowers 2-4 inches across. 
Fruit: Black, Purple 1/3 inch long. 
Size Class: 6-12 ft. 

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White 
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul 
Bloom Notes: Yellow stamens 


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV 
Canada: NB , ON 
Native Distribution: FL to e. TX, n., especially on the Coastal Plain to MA & OH 
Native Habitat: Stream banks; moist woods 

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade 
Soil Moisture: Moist 
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8) 
Soil Description: Dry to wet, acid soils and sands. 
Conditions Comments: Flood, insect and disease tolerant. Suckers freely from base and transplants well. Most soil-adaptable of the viburnums. Pest free. 


Use Wildlife: Gamebirds, songbirds and small mammals. Attracts Eastern Bluebird, Northern Flicker, Gray Catbird, and American Robin. 
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies 
Larval Host: Spring Azure 

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees 
Special Value to Bumble Bees 
Supports Conservation Biological Control 

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Spring Azure
(Celastrina "ladon" )

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Grey Horse Matters said...

I'll just leave the one comment but I did read about all the other plants. You've been busy as usual and I'm sure everything will look wonderful where you've planted them.

I've noticed one yard around here with a sign that tells the county grass cutters "Don't cut the horsetail". So far they've left it alone.

billie said...

I know I’ve been doing a sort of plant dump the past week or two - just trying to keep up with these new plantings! I’m staying busy - though I also removed a number of things from my schedule for the rest of this year in an effort to avoid the too busy days. I’m craving quiet and puttering and really craving having the feeling of boredom, which honestly I don’t remember feeling for many years now.

I love the sign about the horsetail - I wonder how it responds if you cut it back.

It is blissfully cool this morning - my bare feet are actually cold, which is just heaven.