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Viburnum nudum

Common Name(s):
Possumhaw viburnum, Smooth witherod, Wild Raisin
Angustifolium, Evergreen, Winterthur, compact habit
Native Plants, Shrubs

Viburnum nudum, commonly called smooth witherod, is a rounded, multi-stemmed, upright-spreading, deciduous shrub that typically grows in the wild to 5-12’ tall and as wide. It is native to low woods, swamps and bogs in the eastern and southeastern U.S. from Connecticut south to Florida and Louisiana. Its bark is smooth and gray-brown with a few raised warty lenticels.

Regions: Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal plains 

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:  Fall                   Blooms:  Spring            Nut/Fruit/Seed: Fall 

Wildlife Value:  This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer. It is a potential host plant for the Spring Azure butterfly. Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, grouse, wild turkeys and squirrel. Its twigs and leaves are browsed by white-tailed deer. 


5-12 ft.
The Smooth witherod has opposite, simple, elliptic to oblong-lanceolate glossy dark green leaves (to 4” long). Foliage sometimes turns an attractive maroon to dark red-purple in fall.
The Smooth witherod features aromatic creamy white flowers arranged in flat-topped clusters (cymes 2-5” wide) in May-June. The flowers are followed by clusters of ovoid berries that change color as they ripen, from light pink to deep pink to blue to purplish-black. The berries are highly acidic but edible. In late summer to early fall, berries in shades of both deep pink and blue-purple often appear on the same cluster, in striking contrast to the foliage.
5 to 9
The Smooth witherod is easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. It prefers moist loams, but tolerates a wide range of soils including boggy ones. Prune lightly, only as needed, in fall. Pruning after flowering may be done, but will eliminate some of the late summer fruit display. For best cross-pollination and subsequent fruit display, plant shrubs in groups rather than as single specimens.
Spreading rounded crown
Sun, Part shade, shade
5-12 ft.
host plant, deciduous, low maintenance, song birds, hedge, fragrant, butterflies, rain garden, deer resistant, showy

NCCES plant id: 1827

Viburnum nudum Viburnum nudum fall color
John, CC BY - 2.0
Viburnum nudum Viburnum nudum flower
Eleanor, CC BY-NC-2.0
Viburnum nudum Viburnum nudum Shrub
Eleanor, CC BY-NC-2.0
Viburnum nudum Viburnum nudum flower clusters
Debbie Roos