Native Plant of the Week: Nannyberry Viburnum ~ Viburnum lentago

Nannyberry Viburnum ~ Viburnum lentago

Nannyberry Viburnum is beautiful this time of year. The leaves turn anywhere from pink to maroon to bright red.

A large native shrub/small tree, it's common in our Minnesota woodland edges and sunny open areas in the understory. Often found in medium to dry, loamy to sandy soils, it's a very adaptable native.

The leaves are a medium green and glossy when they emerge and stay shiny and attractive throughout the summer. The leaves have a droopy appearance hanging slightly downwards. The leaves are susceptible to powdery mildew although, if planted in a spot without good air movement.

One of its most distinguishing features is the bud. Very long and linear, its form especially stands out in winter months.

Nannyberry fruit (drupe) ripens in mid to late September. The clusters of fruit hang downwards and last through part of the winter before being eaten by birds.

Nannyberry Viburnum can reach heights of 25 feet, but mature plants are often found around 15 feet. The large clusters are multi-stemmed and new clones sucker from the roots.

The white 5 parted flowers emerge in late May, arranged in a somewhat flat-topped cyme.
It has been cultivated by the horticultural trade for several years, and small tree forms are available as well as shrubs.

I have several seedlings in my yard from planting collected seed. I have also planted quite a few mature Nannyberry shrubs in my yard as it grows locally.
Nannyberry Viburnum is native to the northeastern States and eastern Provinces in North America.

See map below for range.
Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP).
North American Plant Atlas. Chapel Hill, N.C.