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Stinking Viburnum Viburnum foetidum

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Viburnum foetidum var. foetidum
Description

Stinking Viburnum is a white flowering evergreen to semi-evergreen shrub native to Tibet and Indo-China.  It reaches a size of around 10 feet tall and wide.  The common name comes from the unpleasant smell emitted by the leaves when they are crushed. In late spring to early summer clusters of white flowers appear and are followed by red berries that can be eaten raw. The leaves can be variable on the same plant.

Plant in moist well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Use as a foundation plant, part of a hedge or shrub border or a specimen. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. ceanthoides
  • var. quadrangularis
    Smaller leaves
  • var. rectangulatum
var. ceanthoides, var. quadrangularis, var. rectangulatum
Tags:
#showy flowers#specimen#white flowers#shrub#semi-evergreen#showy fruits#hedges#edible fruits#evergreen shrub#malodorous#shrub borders
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. ceanthoides
  • var. quadrangularis
    Smaller leaves
  • var. rectangulatum
var. ceanthoides, var. quadrangularis, var. rectangulatum
Tags:
#showy flowers#specimen#white flowers#shrub#semi-evergreen#showy fruits#hedges#edible fruits#evergreen shrub#malodorous#shrub borders
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Viburnum
    Species:
    foetidum
    Family:
    Viburnaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Bark is used to make fishing nets.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Assam, Bangladesh, East Himalaya, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Tibet
    Edibility:
    Fruits can be eaten raw.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small red fruits are broadly oval to orbicular and 1⁄4 in. wide.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tubular white petaled flowers with purple anthers in 2-3 inch clusters. Blooms May- July
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    1-3 inches long by .5 to 1.5 inch wide shiny green leaves have an unpleasant fragrance when crushed. They are broadly ovate with a rounded base varying to broadly elliptic and obovate, shallowly toothed to entire, finely downy especially on the veins. Born on red stems.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Bark Description:
    Light brown bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Scaly
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    New branches are yellow-brownish stellate-pubescent. Older stems are purple-brown, terete, glabrous, with dispersed, small, rounded lenticels. Winter buds have 2 pairs of scales
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Problems:
    Malodorous