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Viburnum macrocephalum

Phonetic Spelling
vih-BUR-num mak-roh-SEF-uh-lum
Description

Chinese snowball viburnum is a flowering shrub in the Adoxaceae family and it is native to mainland China. It grows up to 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide with a rounded vase-shaped form. The flowers are the largest of the snowball viburnums.

The flowers emerge green, quickly turn to white, and are sterile with no fragrance. It prefers moist acidic well-drained soils but is adaptable to other locations. The leaves are semi-evergreen in the southernmost growing zones. Flowers on this plant appear in spring but because they are sterile there is no fruit production. A variety Viburnum macrocephalum var. keteleeri found in the wild and it has both sterile and fertile florets, so sometimes fruits are seen on this plant.

Use this plant in foundation plantings, groups, or for informal hedges. It has good disease resistance.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious problems. 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Juniper Level Botanic Gardens
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • f. keteleeri
f. keteleeri
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#white flowers#shrub#semi-evergreen#deciduous shrub#spring flowers#hedges#adaptable#foundation planting#sterile#border planting#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • f. keteleeri
f. keteleeri
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#white flowers#shrub#semi-evergreen#deciduous shrub#spring flowers#hedges#adaptable#foundation planting#sterile#border planting#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Viburnum
    Species:
    macrocephalum
    Family:
    Viburnaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China
    Wildlife Value:
    Mildly resistant to damage by deer. Attracts butterflies.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Rounded
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Apple green flowers mature to 3 to 8 in. white inflorescences in rounded cymes. Each floret is 1.25 inches wide and sterile.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2-4 inch long and 1.5-2 inch wide egg-shaped dark green leaves. Undersides have star-like hairs.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases