Comprehensive Description

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General: Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae). Native shrubs growing 1-3 meters tall, with arching branches forming an overall rounded crown, sometimes spreading up to 2.5 meters; twigs slender, ridged and angled. Leaves deciduous, opposite, simple, oval to oblong, obovate, or elliptic, 4-10 cm long, with coarsely but regularly toothed margins, shiny dark green above, paler beneath, at least sparsely stellate-pubescent beneath and on the petioles, turning yellow to red or reddish-purple in late fall. Flowers are 5-8 mm wide, white, in flat-topped clusters 5-8 cm broad. Fruits ovoid, berry-like (drupes), 5-8 mm in diameter, bluish-black. The common name refers to the Native American use of the straight young stems as arrow shafts.

Variation within the species: Leaves of V. dentatum are stellate-pubescent in variable density on the lower surfaces and petioles. Localized geographic variants are often evident over the range of the species, with leaf shape and size often more consistent on a local or regional level than the type of vestiture. A number of varieties have been recognized – but these distinctions apparently have not been recognized among the horticultural forms.

V. dentatum var. deamii (Rehd.) Fern.

V. dentatum var. venosum (Britt.) Gleason

V. dentatum var. indianense (Rehd.) Gleason

V. dentatum var. lucidum Ait. (= V. recognitum Fern.)

V. dentatum var. scabrellum Torr. & Gray (= V. scabrellum (Torr. & Gray) Chapm.)

Viburnum recognitum has the leaves completely glabrous or sparsely strigose with simple hairs along the veins and petioles, commonly with tufts of soft, white hair in the vein axils of the lower surface. With V. dentatum, V. recognitum ranges from Texas to New England, but V. recognitum is the common form in the northern part of the range, V. dentatum in the southern part. Viburnum scabrellum is a form with broader, rougher leaves and primarily occurs in the southern part of the V. dentatum range.


Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center & the Biota of North America Program

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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