Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum)
For an eye-catching display of fruit, linden viburnums (vi-BUR-nums) are one of the best shrubs to plant in a home landscape. They are also very easy to grow, have attractive spring flowers and interesting foliage. They have ornamental features during every season of the year, producing clusters of white flowers in late spring and displaying massive quantities of bright red berries from late summer through winter. As a bonus, the leaves often turn pleasing shades of reddish-burgundy to bronze in the fall. Use linden viburnums in a shrub border, with broadleaf evergreens or as single specimens.
Size: Linden Viburnums are fairly large shrubs that can grow from 8 to 10 feet high and from 6 to 10 feet wide. They may be pruned lightly to keep them more compact.
Foliage: Linden Viburnum leaves are dark green and hairy, with a scalloped edge. They are from 3 to 5 inches long and slightly narrower in width, and are arranged in pairs on the stems. In fall Linden Viburnums often display attractive autumn leaf color, with shades of burgundy-red and bronze.
Flowers and Fruit: From late May to mid-June, Linden Viburnums are nearly covered with large flat clusters of flowers 3 to 5 inches across, creating a spectacular effect. Don't plant these shrubs near walkways, though, as the flowers have a somewhat disagreeable odor. In September, huge quantities of tiny bright red berries appear all over the plant, which are quite spectacular against the dark green foliage. They may persist all winter, shrivel slightly and resemble purple raisins after December. They're a favorite bird food.
Linden Viburnum Choices
'Erie': rounded shrub, 6 feet high and 10 feet wide. Better fall color and larger flowers than the species. Fruit turns coral pink after frost. 'Oneida': blooms sporadically through the summer after its main spring show. Long-lasting fruit and attractive yellow to orange-red fall color. Upright growth habit with wide-spreading branches.
For more information see file on Selecting Shrubs.
Using Linden Viburnum
Linden viburnums are upright to rounded, multi-stemmed shrubs that may be dense and compact or open and sparse at the bottom, depending on the particular plant or the variety. Because they grow fairly tall and wide, linden viburnums look best planted away from the walls of the house. They are especially attractive in a row of shrubs along a property boundary or as single specimens. They may also be planted next to evergreens such as hemlocks or spruces, which make a handsome backdrop for the white masses of flowers and the red berries.
Cutting For Inside Display: Cut stems of Linden Viburnum flowers for indoor arrangements just as the blossoms begin to open. For more information see the files on Keeping Cut Flowers and Cut Flower Supplies
Planting Linden Viburnum
The Right Place
Linden viburnums grow well in zones 5 to 7, that include much of the U.S., except the coldest parts of the country, where low temperatures go below -10° to –20° F, and our warmest areas, such as the Deep South and southern Arizona. They can also grow in Zone 8 (minimum temperatures 10° F. to 20° F) if they receive shade during the hottest part of the day.
Linden viburnums grow best in full sun, but do nearly as well with 2 or 3 hours of light to medium shade. They prefer a well-drained soil that is a bit acid (pH range 6.0 to 7.5), but they tolerate almost any soil as long as it's kept slightly moist.