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Downy Arrowwood Viburnum rafinesqueanum

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Viburnum affine
  • Viburnum affine var. hypomalacum
  • Viburnum rafinesqueanum var. affine
  • Viburnum rafinesqueanum var. rafinesqueanum
Phonetic Spelling
vih-BUR-num raf-in-ess-KWI-an-um
Description

Downy Arrowwood is an attractive shrub and one of the smallest native Viburnums growing 6-10 feet tall. It is common in forest understories and along woodland margins. In NC it is native to the piedmont area. It prefers dry conditions in sun to part shade in clay loam with some rocky material. It is drought tolerant once established. Downy Arrowwood is a heavy bloomer in May with showy flat-topped clusters of white blooms that are followed by purple berry-like drupes that attract wildlife. 

Use this plant in shrub borders, foundations or in naturalized or woodland areas. The birds will love you for it.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Louise's Sunbeam'
    New growth is yellow
'Louise's Sunbeam'
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#partial shade#drought tolerant#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#native shrub#spring flowers#berries#food source#NC native#deer resistant#shrub border#foundation planting#native garden#naturalizes#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#fruits#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Louise's Sunbeam'
    New growth is yellow
'Louise's Sunbeam'
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#partial shade#drought tolerant#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#native shrub#spring flowers#berries#food source#NC native#deer resistant#shrub border#foundation planting#native garden#naturalizes#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#fruits#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Viburnum
    Species:
    rafinesqueanum
    Family:
    Viburnaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Narrow, straight stems that were used for making arrows by native Americans.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and Mid North America
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: MB , ON
    Wildlife Value:
    It is a potential host plant for the Spring Azure butterfly. Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, grouse, wild turkeys and squirrels. Its twigs and leaves are browsed by white-tailed deer.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    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:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/4-1/2 inch compressed oval drupe that matures to blue-black in June to July.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flower clusters are borne at the tips of last year's branches and are 1.5-3 inches across. Creamy-white 1/4 inch flowers have 5 petals and extruded stamens with yellow tips.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Oval leaves simple, opposite and 1.5 to 3 inches long and 1-2 inches across. They are dark green to reddish-green with paler undersides and hairs along the veins. Apex is pointed, margins are coarsely toothed and the base is rounded with a pair of slender stipules. Fall color is reddish.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Bark Description:
    The short trunk or lower branches are gray and somewhat wrinkled, while upper branches are gray and more smooth.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Young stems are light green to reddish-green, round, and slightly pubescent. Widely scattered white lenticels occur on the upper branches and shoots.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Compaction
    Drought
    Salt