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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This native plant is a branched woody shrub or small tree up to 15' tall. The young bark of small branches is gray and slightly rough, while the old bark of the trunk or larger branches is grey and rough with flat-topped plates. The opposite leaves are up to 3" long and 1" across; they are ovate or ovate-obovate, glabrous on both their lower and upper sides, and finely serrated along their margins. The slender petioles are up to 1" long and reddish. The buds of these leaves are short. Cymes of flowers about 3-5" across develop from the axils of the leaves; each cyme is much branched, but sessile at the base. Each flower is about ¼" across; it has 5 white petals that are well-rounded and longer than the sepals. There are 5 long stamens with slender white filaments and yellow anthers, and a small pistil at the center of the flower that is cream-colored at the base. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late spring. The flowers have a strong and pleasant fragrance; they are produced at about the same time as the leaves. Each flower is replaced by a fleshy ovoid drupe about 1/3" long; this drupe becomes blue-black at maturity, sometimes with a whitish bloom. Inside each drupe, there is a single stone (a seed with a hard coat) that is flat on one side and convex on the other. The drupes are sweet and edible, although somewhat thin-fleshed because of their stones. The root system consists of a branching woody taproot.
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Blackhaw Viburnum is occasional to locally common in most areas of Illinois; it is less common or absent in parts of NW and southern Illinois. Habitats include rich mesic woodlands, upland woodlands, thinly wooded bluffs, rocky wooded slopes, limestone glades, woodland borders, and areas along woodland paths. This species is found in deciduous woodlands, particularly where oaks are dominant. It can decline in abundance when a woodland is invaded by non-native Honeysuckle shrubs, such as Lonicera maackii (Amur Honeysuckle) and Lonicera tartarica (Tartarian Honeysuckle).
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Type Information

Isotype for Viburnum prunifolium var. globosum Nash
Catalog Number: US 66693
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): G. V. Nash
Year Collected: 1892
Locality: Clifton., Passaic, New Jersey, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Nash, G. V. 1893. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 20: 70.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Blackhaw Viburnum is occasional to locally common in most areas of Illinois; it is less common or absent in parts of NW and southern Illinois. Habitats include rich mesic woodlands, upland woodlands, thinly wooded bluffs, rocky wooded slopes, limestone glades, woodland borders, and areas along woodland paths. This species is found in deciduous woodlands, particularly where oaks are dominant. It can decline in abundance when a woodland is invaded by non-native Honeysuckle shrubs, such as Lonicera maackii (Amur Honeysuckle) and Lonicera tartarica (Tartarian Honeysuckle).
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract primarily small bees and various flies. Among the bees, these flower visitors include Cuckoo bees (Nomada spp.), Mason bees, Halictid bees, and Andrenid bees. Among the flies, these flower visitors include Syrphid flies, dance flies (Empididae), bee flies (Bombylius spp.), Tachinid flies, blow flies (Calliphoridae), and Muscid flies. Other flower visitors include butterflies, skippers, hummingbird moths, and ants, which seek nectar. The caterpillars of the butterfly Celastrina argiolus (Spring/Summer Azure) feed on the flowers and buds of Viburnums, while later caterpillar instars of the butterfly Euphydryas phaeton (Baltimore) occasionally feed on their leaves, after migrating from the original host plant (e.g., Aureolaria spp.). Several moth caterpillars also feed on Viburnums (see Moth Table). An introduced beetle, Pyrrhalta viburni (Viburnum Leaf Beetle), feeds on the leaves. Among vertebrate animals, the drupes are occasionally eaten by birds, primarily during the fall migration (see Bird Table); they are also eaten by the Eastern Chipmunk, tree squirrels (Red, Gray, & Fox), and the White-Footed Mouse. White-Tailed Deer browse on the twigs and leaves.
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Flower-Visiting Insects of Blackhaw Viburnum in Illinois

Viburnum prunifolium (Blackhaw Viburnum)
(Bees suck nectar or collect pollen, as indicated below; other insects suck nectar; one observation is from Krombein et al. as indicated below, otherwise observations are from Robertson)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn cp; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Synhalonia speciosa sn; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada cressonii sn fq, Nomada cuneatus sn, Nomada illinoiensis sn, Nomada obliterata sn, Nomada ovatus sn, Nomada sayi sn fq; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Osmia lignaria lignaria sn, Osmia pumila sn

Bees (short-tongued)
Halctidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn, Augochlorella striata sn cp fq, Halictus rubicunda sn cp, Lasioglossum cressonii sn, Lasioglossum foxii sn cp, Lasioglossum imitatus sn cp fq, Lasioglossum pectoralis sn cp fq, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn cp, Lasioglossum tegularis sn cp, Lasioglossum versatus sn cp fq; Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes cressonii sn, Sphecodes dichroa sn fq, Sphecodes ranunculi sn, Sphecodes stygius sn; Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes inaequalis sn; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena carlini sn, Andrena cressonii sn cp fq, Andrena dunningi sn, Andrena erythrogaster sn, Andrena forbesii sn cp, Andrena hippotes sn cp, Andrena imitatrix imitatrix sn cp, Andrena miserabilis bipunctata sn cp fq, Andrena nuda (Kr), Andrena personata sn fq, Andrena pruni sn cp fq icp, Andrena rugosa sn, Andrena sayi sn cp fq

Wasps
Vespidae: Polistes fuscata; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Ancistrocerus adiabatus

Flies
Stratiomyidae: Stratiomys normula fq; Syrphidae: Blera umbratilis, Brachyopa vacua, Cheilosia capillata fq, Cheilosia hoodiana, Cheilosia punctulata, Chrysogaster antitheus, Eristalinis aeneus fq, Eristalis dimidiatus, Eristalis transversus, Helophilus latifrons, Myolepta strigilata fq, Orthonevra pictipennis, Paragus bicolor, Psilota buccata, Somula decora, Syritta pipiens, Toxomerus geminatus, Toxomerus marginatus; Empididae: Empis nuda, Empis otiosa fq, Rhamphomyia mutabilis, Rhamphomyia priapulus, Rhamphomyia sordida; Bombyliidae: Bombylius major, Bombylius fascipennis; Tachinidae: Archytas analis, Gonia capitata, Gymnosoma fuliginosum, Tachinomyia panaetius fq; Calliphoridae: Lucilia illustris, Lucilia sericata fq, Phormia regina; Muscidae: Graphyomya americana, Neomyia cornicina

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Chlosyne nycteis, Vanessa virginiensis; Lycaenidae: Celastrina argiolus, Strymon melinus

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Erynnis juvenalis fq, Erynnis martialis

Moths
Sphingidae: Hemaris thysbe

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Viburnum prunifolium

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Viburnum prunifolium

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is light shade to partial sun, mesic to dry conditions, and soil that is loamy, clayish-loamy, sandy-loamy, or somewhat rocky. This shrub can assume somewhat irregular shapes, depending on lighting conditions.
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Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG

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Wikipedia

Viburnum prunifolium

Viburnum prunifolium (known as blackhaw or black haw, blackhaw viburnum, sweet haw, and stag bush) is a species of Viburnum native to northeastern North America, from Connecticut west to eastern Kansas, and south to Alabama and Texas.[2]

Growth[edit]

Flowers

It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 2–9 m tall with a short crooked trunk and stout spreading branches; in the northern parts of its range, it is a shrub, becoming a small tree in the southern parts of its range. The bark is reddish-brown, very rough on old stems. The branchlets are red at first, then green, finally dark brown tinged with red. The winter buds are coated with rusty tomentum. The flower buds ovate, 1 cm long, much larger than the axillary buds. The leaves are simple, up to 9 cm long and 6 cm broad, oval, ovate or orbicular, wedge-shaped or rounded at base, serrate, acute, with serrated edges with a grooved and slightly winged red petiole 1.5 cm long; they turn red in fall. The leaves are superficially similar to some species of Prunus (thus "prunifolium"); they come out of the bud involute, shining, green, tinged with red, sometimes smooth, or clothed with rusty tomentum; when full grown dark green and smooth above, pale, smooth or tomentose beneath.[3][4][5][6]

Characteristics[edit]

The flowers are creamy white, 9 mm diameter; the calyx is urn-shaped, five-toothed, persistent; the corolla is five-lobed, with rounded lobes, imbricate in bud; the five stamens alternate with the corolla lobes, the filaments slender, the anthers pale yellow, oblong, two-celled, the cells opening longitudinally; the ovary is inferior, one-celled, with a thick, pale green style and a flat stigma and a single ovule. The flowers are borne in flat-topped cymes 10 cm in diameter in mid to late spring. The fruit is a drupe 1 cm long, dark blue-black with glaucous bloom, hangs until winter, becomes edible after being frosted, then eaten by birds; the stone is flat and even, broadly oval. Wherever it lives, black haw prefers sunny woodland with well-drained soil and adequate water.[3][4][5][6]

Uses[edit]

It has both value in the pleasure garden, providing good fall color and early winter provender for birds, and medicinal properties.

It has hybridized with Viburnum lentago in cultivation to give the garden hybrid Viburnum × jackii.

The wood is brown tinged with red; heavy, hard, close-grained with a density of 0.8332.[5]

Medicinal uses[edit]

For centuries, black haw has been used for medical purposes, mainly for gynecological conditions. The bark is the part of the plant used in treatments.[4]

The active components include scopoletin, aesculetin, salicin, 1-methyl-2,3 clibutyl hemimellitate, and viburnin. Tannin is another chemical component of black haw.[4]

Native Americans used a decoction of black haw to treat gynecological conditions, including menstrual cramps, aiding recovery after childbirth, and in treating the effects of menopause.[6] As a folk remedy, black haw has been used to treat menstrual pain, and morning sickness. Due to its antispasmodic properties, the plant may also be of use in treating cramps of the digestive tract or the bile ducts.[4]

Black haw's primary use was to prevent miscarriages.[4] American slaveholders also used the plant to prevent abortions. Slaves were a valuable asset, and their owner also owned their offspring, so ensuring that female slaves gave birth was of paramount importance. In defiance, some slave women would attempt to use cotton seeds to cause a miscarriage. The slaveowners would therefore force pregnant slaves to drink an infusion of black haw to prevent that.[6]

The primary use of black haw today is to prevent menstrual cramps. The salicin in black haw may also be of use in pain relief.[6]

Safety issues[edit]

Like many other plants, including many food plants and those used as culinary herbs, black haw contains salicin, a chemical relative of aspirin. Those who are allergic to that substance should not use black haw.[4] In addition, due to the connection between aspirin and Reye's syndrome, young people or people afflicted with a viral disease should not use black haw.

The chemicals in black haw do relax the uterus and therefore probably prevent miscarriage; however, the salicin may be teratogenic. Consequently, pregnant women should not use black haw in the first two trimesters.[6] Furthermore, anyone using herbs for medical reasons should only use them under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.

Black haw is not on the "generally recognized as safe list" of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Plants Profile". USDA NRCS. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Viburnum prunifolium
  3. ^ a b Missouriplants: Viburnum prunifolium
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Andrew Chevallier (1996). The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants: A practical reference guide to more than 550 key medicinal plants and their uses. Reader's Digest. p. 279. ISBN 0-88850-546-9. 
  5. ^ a b c Keeler, H. L. (1900). Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them. New York: Charles Scriber's Sons. p. 184. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Michael Castleman (1991). Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature's Medicine. Rodale Press. pp. 79–81. ISBN 0-87857-934-6. 
  7. ^ "SUBSTANCES GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE". Code of Federal Regulations - Title 21, Volume 6. Food and Drug Administration. 2006-04-01. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
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