Viburnum rufidulum is noted as a food source for most birds, some mammals, even including foxes. The fruits, leaves, and twigs can be eaten by herbivorous animals such as the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virgianianus) in upland forested areas (Sallee, 2002: 15).
Historically the Plains Apache utilized the plant as a food source (one of 48 plants documented in the study), though it is unclear exactly what part of the plant was used (Jordan, 2006: 28).
Jordan, J. 2006. Vascular Plants Utilized by the Plains Apache in Southwestern Oklahoma. Publications of the Oklahoma Biological Survey 7: 24-33.
Sallee, D. 2002. Use of Geographic Information Systems and Infrared-Triggered Cameras to Assess White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virgianianus) in Denton County, Texas. (Master of Science thesis). 106 pp. Denton, Texas: University of North Texas.
Viburnum rufidulum can reach 3.5 m in height and produce seeds after 5 years (Bonner et al., 2008: 1163). The leaf petioles and undersides have rusty hairy. The oval leaves are dark and shiny on the upper surface and can grow up to 10 cm long (Hunter, 2000: 174). The flower buds are a reddish brown and the flowers are white and occasionally even pinkish. The flowers are arranged flattened, rounded and in convex cymes (a flat-topped cluster of flowers in which the central or terminal flower opens first)(Bonner et al., 2008: 1163). The flowers can grow up to four inches across. (Hunter, 2000: 174) The flowering dates are primarily from March to June depending upon the region. (Bonner et al., 2008: 1163). Pollination is by insects (Bonner et al., 2008: 1163). The dark blue fruits are approximately 13 mm in length, elliptical (oval) and slightly flattened (Hunter, 2000: 174). The fruit ripens September to October (producing 5,200 kg dried fruits/kg) and seed dispersal can occur in December (Bonner et al., 2008: 1163, 1165).
Bonner, F. T., Gill, J. D. & Pogge, F. L. 2008. Caprifoliaceae-Honeysuckle family, 1162-1167. In: The Woody Plant Seed Manual: Agricultural Handbook No. 727. 1223 pp, Washington, DC. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.
Hunter, G.C. 2000. Trees, Shrubs, & Vines of Arkansas. 203 pp, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press
Viburnum rufidulum does not tolerate water with a high concentration of chloride. In one experiment, Viburnum rufidulum suffered 80% leaf burn when watered with reclaimed water, although the roots were not affected (Parnell, 1990: 378).
Parnell, J. 1990. Reclaimed Water and Florida Natives. Proceedings of the Florida State Horticulture Society, 103: 377-379.
Regularity: Regularly occurring
The shrub Viburnum rufidulum or rusty blackhaw is distributed as far west as Kansas and in the states of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky (USDA, 2012).
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2012. Natural Resources Conservation Service; available at: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=VIRU; accessed on: October 17, 2012.
Flower-Visiting Insects of Southern Blackhaw in Illinois
(also called Rusty Viburnum; beetle activity is unspecified; observations are from MacRae; information is limited)
Buprestidae: Acmaeodera neglecta (McR), Acmaeodera ornata (McR), Acmaeodera tubulus (McR)
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
Viburnum rufidulum, also known as the rusty blackhaw, blue haw, rusty nanny-berry, or southern black haw, is a flowering species of shrub or small tree that is common in parts of the Eastern and Central United States. It produces attractive flowers and fall foliage, as well as fruits that are popular with some species of bird.
Leathery deciduous leaves are simple and grow in opposite blades ranging from 0.5-3 inches in length and 1-1.5 inches in width. Petioles are "rusty hairy" with grooves and sometimes wings. Leaf margins are serrate. Autumn leaf colors are bronze to red.
The Rusty Blackhaw prefers dry habitats with elevations generally below 750m.
It grows in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
- "USDA GRIN taxonomy".
- Duncan, Wilbur H.; Marion B. Duncan (1988). Trees of the Southeastern United States. Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia Press. pp. 100–102. ISBN 0-8203-1469-2.
- Brown, Claud L.; L. Katherine Kirkman (1990). Trees of Georgia and Adjacent States. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. pp. 253–254. ISBN 0-88192-148-3.
- "NPIN:Viburnum rufidulum (Rusty blackhaw viburnum)". Native Plant Database. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
- "PLANTS Profile for Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)". USDA. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
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