Viburnum carlesii - Koreanspice Viburnum
Family: Caprifoliaceae

Hear the scientific name

Viburnum carlesii is a shrub with pubescent, gray-green foliage, extremely fragrant pink-budded to white-floral, Apr. inflorescences, and a rounded growth habit.

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  form Form

-medium-sized ornamental shrub

-maturing at about 8' tall x 8' wide

-upright rounded growth habit, becoming spreading with age and usually branching close to the ground

-slow growth rate

foliage Foliage

-gray-green to blue-green leaves are dull (that is, not shiny), deciduous (or nearly so), opposite, broad-elliptical to ovate, subtlely serrated, thick, on a very short petiole, with a dense pubescence on the upper leaf surface and even more densely pubescent on the lower surface, with a white-green color beneath

-autumn color is bronzed to wine in good years if placed in a sunny location, but is usually poor in shady areas, being of mixed or green color


-dark pink buds open to white inflorescences tinged in pink, to 3" in diameter, opening in mid-Apr. with the emergent foliage and composed of hemispherical to spherical clusters of individual flowers

-inflorescences are extremely fragrant and effective for 2 weeks


-clusters of fruit change from green to red to black by early autumn, with each small fruit being broadly elliptical but distinctly flattened

-sparsely borne along the fruiting stalk due to poor cross-pollination, nearly hidden by the foliage

-ornamentally insignificant


-twigs are tan and pubescent, becoming densely branching with age, and with buds that are naked (i.e., without true scales)

-the prominent terminal floral buds are knobby and obvious in winter, while the vegetative buds are terminal or lateral and elongated


-mature bark is gray-brown and fissuring on the spreading trunks, which branch low o the ground and give the shrub its overall rounded or spreading growth habit

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-full sun to partial shade

-adaptable to poorer soils, soils of various pH, and drought

-propagated primarily by rooted stem cuttings, but also by seeds or grafting

-Honeysuckle Family, with no significant pest problems, but bacterial leaf spot and powdery mildew are occasional cosmetic diseases

-commonly available in B&B form


-zones 4 to 7


-native to Korea and Japan

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-extremely fragrant mid-Apr. inflorescences

-dense and attractive, pubescent, gray-green to blue-green foliage

-usually branches close to the ground (i.e., generally not leggy with age)


-slow growth rate

-occasional leaf spot or powdery mildew are minor cosmetic foliage diseases


-informal hedge, border, entranceway, foundation, or specimen shrub, especially noted for its showy flowers that have a heavy fragrance


-medium texture in foliage and when bare

-thick density in foliage and when bare

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-shrubs with grayish-green or bluish-green foliage (Fothergilla gardenii, Ilex x meserveae, Viburnum lantana, etc.)

-fragrant-flowering shrubs (Clethra alnifolia, Itea virginica, Philadelphus species, Syringa species, Viburnum x burkwoodii, Viburnum x juddii, etc.)

-dense and medium-sized, rounded to spreading informal hedges (Cornus alba Ivory Halo™, Syringa meyeri, Viburnum x juddii, Weigela florida 'Variegata', etc.)


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