last updated 31/10/2014


Viburnum must be one of the most varied genus of all. Some are evergreen, others are deciduous. Some flower in the winter, others in the summer whilst autumn colours abound in this valuable genus.

Viburnums are so easy to please. They will grow on most soil types, though they will perform best with adequate drainage. Most will tolerate shade, though as a rule the deciduous varieties will flower best in sun. The flowerheads are made up of lots of small tubular flowers and some of them are huge! Their fragrance is often wonderful too.

I should stress that all our viburnums are grown from cuttings, on their own roots. Like Euonymus these are too often grafted for commercial reasons. We prefer to play the long game; happily we have the necessary skills to grow these plants properly so you never have to worry about suckers taking over. So much better.

It is often the case that a pollinator will be needed to ensure fruit set. It's worth taking the trouble with this becasue many Viburnum have the potential to produce a fantastic crop of fruit, which looks attractive as well as being great for wildlife. Ideally this should be the same species, or a hybrid from that species, but as you can see from the number of hybrids in the genus, it's not that critical. What is crucial however, is that the 2 plants flower at the same time. Remember that pollination works both ways so having a second plant as a pollinator will give you fruit on both. However, it doesn't work with 2 plants of the same cultivar becasue these are genetically identical; hence we have worked hard to obtain multiple clones wherever possible. I'm particularly pleased this year to be offering no less than 3 clones of the highly desirable V. betulifolium as well as a pair of V. nudum cultivars. All fantastic plants for berries. 

If you have struggled with daphnes and have finally given up in despair, then look no further - viburnums could be the plant for you. There are several which have a globular flowerhead that looks just like an overgrown daphne inflorescence! 

If it is instant effect you need, then we also have some varieties available in larger sizes.

VIBURNUM atrocyaneum HIRD113
This charming Himalayan shrub grows to little more than a metre in all directions, depending on conditions. The smaller than usual evergreen leaves emerge purplish bronze, maturing to dark green before turning to bronze-purple again for the winter. It is not unknown for leaves to appear 3 to a node in a whorl. Open inflorescences of greenish white flowers are produce in late May - early June, followed by proportionally smaller steel blue fruit. 

VIBURNUM betulifolium 
Potentially a large shrub, but upright in habit with tall graceful stems. The leaves are relatively small and a deep green. White flowers are produced in early summer, followed by a proliferation of bunches of fruit resembling red-currants. Pollination is improved by planting several different clones together, so we have taken the trouble to source multiple clones. I am delighted therefore to now be able to offer you two forms with red berries, and one with yellow (see 'Aurantiacum' below). Otherwise they are perfectly easy to grow. If space is limited, try planting 2 or 3 plants in the same planting hole to grow up as a single bush. Imagine the appearance of having red and yellow berries on the same plant!

VIBURNUM betulifolium 'Aurantiacum'
This rare selection has yellow berries. 

NEW VIBURNUM bitchiuense
Large open shrub similar to V. carlesii, but with smaller leaves. Clusters of flesh pink flowers in April-May are sweetly scented.

VIBURNUM x burkwoodii 'Anne Russell'
This lovely hybrid was the result of a backcross of the original hybrid (V. utile x V. carlesii) with V. carlesii. It is more compact than the type with clustered, very fragrant white flowers produced from January to May. Semi-evergreen, the foliage is late in developing autumn colour, but then these colours are often held for the rest of the winter, the plant only relinquishing the previous crop of leaves as the sap starts to rise the following spring. 

VIBURNUM x burkwoodii 'Compact Beauty'
Much as I love V. 'Anne Russell', it was first introduced to me as a smaller selection; but 20 years later, our original plant is over 3m tall, albeit of wonderfully dense, tidy habit! This clone however, seems to be slightly more modest in its proportions; though I should note that is only the case when it's on its own roots. Grafted plants will potentially grow much larger as determined by the rootstock. The gorgeous flowers are as scented as its cousins.

VIBURNUM x burkwoodii 'Mohawk'
I was amazed to read that this backcross with V. carlesii was made in America back in 1953. Yet it is almost not known in this country, which is a shame since it's a lovely plant. The beautiful flowers are dark red in bud and open to nearly white, giving a dramatic contrast across the flower head. The buds actually show colour for several weeks, so the period of interest is really maximised. The fragrance has been described as "strong and spicy". This one is completely deciduous so although you don't benefit from winter cover, you do have the lovely autumn leaf colours to enjoy.

VIBURNUM x burkwoodii 'Park Farm Hybrid'
Perhaps the best known cultivar in the group, this one is a little more open in its habit. Almost totally evergreen for me, we had it planted within an informal mixed hedge dividing off another area of garden at our previous property. As such I pruned it back after flowering each year and in this manner it stayed a very manageable size. The flowers are fabulous of course - characteristically pink in bud opening to more or les white, and oh so sweetly scented. 

NEW VIBURNUM carlesii 'Aurora' 
A popular medium rounded shrub. Red flower buds open to pale pink in April-May. The fragrance is nearly as good as that of the Daphnes! Rich autumn colour. 

VIBURNUM carlesii 'Charis'

NEW VIBURNUM carlesii 'Compactum' 
Viburnum carlesii is always popular but the usual forms will get reasonably big. This one however, is ideal for that smaller space! Still featuring large heads of pink flushed creamy-white flowers in early spring with an intoxicating scent.

VIBURNUM carlesii 'Diane' 
Although strong growing, this superb form is more compact than the more common 'Aurora'. Flower buds open red, changing to pink and deliciously fragrant. There used to be a lovely mature specimen of this against Lady Ann's house at RHS Rosemoor. It was about 5' tall and a solid block of flower in the spring. Imagine that under an open window!

VIBURNUM carlesii 'Marlou' 
I love this group, with their fantastic fragrant flowers in April-May. Still new to us, so I can't yet say what makes it different to the others we grow. So either try it for yourself, or watch this space!

NEW VIBURNUM cassinoides

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