Viburnum Superstar

It’s not a dogwood but when in bloom, it is a stunning lookalike and a good substitute for the spring-blooming dogwood for showy white flowers.  It’s the doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum tomentosam).

Doublefile viburnum

It is a large shrub and needs a wide space to grow. Ours is close to 9′ tall and the branches spread horizontally almost as wide as as it is tall. In the spring, each layered branch is thick with white, flat flowers that are about 3″ in diameter.

The outer ring of florets are sterile and the small buds in the center, yet opened, are the fertile blooms. In the fall, these fertile flowers produce a profusion of red fruit that darken to black, but I hardly have time to photograph them before the birds consume them. By far, it’s the most relished bird food in my fall garden.

doublefile 2017

The blooms stand in paired rows or in ‘doublefile’ above the stems like little soldiers. And it’s just as beautiful from our second story window as from the ground.

doublefileIn the fall, it produces a lovely display when the leaves turn a firery deep red and in winter, the gray bark is interesting as well. Truly, the doublefile viburnum is a fabulous multi-season shrub.

Hardiness Zones: 5-8
Pest Resistant

4 thoughts on “Viburnum Superstar

  1. Perhaps the most spectacular bush in our yard when in bloom, the doublefile viburnum. In Virginia, ours is now 15 feet tall, and the blooms have come and gone already. it was soon followed by the just as pretty 15 foot tall mock orange, another prolific white flowering beauty. Now we have the oak-leaf hydrangeas over 8 feet tall and making enough white blooms to create arrangements in the house. Your writings are interesting and fun, and it is interesting to compare the zones in which our respective blooms fourish. Our lillies are next, we think, with all this heat and rain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I LOVE the mock orange and the oak leaf hydrangea, both hardy in our zone. Although I’ve grown them in other gardens, I don’t have them here YET. I’d better get myself to a good nursery soon!


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