Viburnum dentatum - Arrowwood Viburnum
Family: Caprifoliaceae

Hear the scientific name

Viburnum dentatum is one of the best shrubs for both late spring inflorescences and late summer blue berries. Arrowwood Viburnum can be an excellent deciduous informal or formal hedge.

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  form Form

-medium-sized to large-sized ornamental shrub

-maturing at about 9' tall x 9' wide, although larger under optimum conditions

-upright oval growth habit in youth, becoming arching, spreading, and suckering with age

-medium growth rate (except for the basal shoots which are rapidly growing)

foliage Foliage

-medium-green to dark green, often shiny to lustrous, opposite, narrow ovate to ovate to broad-ovate, dentate, with veins that are somewhat impressed

-apex has a long or short acuminate tip, while the base is cuneate, rounded, or cordate, and the blade is either flat or cupped

-autumn color is highly variable, ranging from faded green to yellowish green to shades of yellow, orange, burgundy, or red


-creamy-white, in late May and early June, quite showy as flat-topped inflorescences of about 3" diameter and effective for 2 weeks, being the last Viburnum to bloom


-deep porcelain blue to blue-purple, maturing in Aug. and sometimes abscising in Oct., but readily eaten by the birds and usually not persistent for very long

-fruits are in flat-topped clusters, can be profusely borne, and very attractive when viewed up-close

fruit stalks are usually persistent into the next year


-gray-brown, noticeably lenticeled, and striated with maturation, with winter buds that are smooth, slightly elongated, and with scales

-new growth from basal suckers is very straight (American Indians used the new shoot growth for their arrow shafts, hence, the common name)

trunk Trunk

-old branches arch with age, in part hiding the legginess of the older trunks, along with the constantly emerging basal suckers

-trunks remain subtlely striated, but become gray and fissuring with maturity

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-full sun to partial shade

-prefers moist, well-drained soils of average fertility in full sun, but is highly adaptable to dry soils, poor soils, soils of various pH, heat, drought, and pollution (very urban tolerant)

-propagated by rooted stem cuttings or by seeds

-virtually no disease or pest problems

-abundantly available, primarily in B&B form


-zones 2 to 8


-native to Eastern North America

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-very urban tolerant

-creamy inflorescences in late spring, glossy dark green foliage in summer, and blue fruits in late summer and early autumn

-autumn color is often outstanding among certain cultivars and sporadically among the species forms

takes well to frequent shearing (if used as a formal hedge)

-wildlife attraction (especially birds)

-cold hardiness


-profuse basal suckering with age can become a frequent maintenance chore to remove, if the shrub is used as a specimen plant (rather than as a hedge or in a naturalizing situation)


-formal or informal hedge, border, entranceway, foundation, utilitarian, group planting, naturalizing, or specimen shrub


-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


-good formal or informal hedges (Ribes alpinum, Spiraea x vanhouttei, Taxus x media, Viburnum x rhytidophylloides, etc.)

-shrubs with blue or blue-purple berries in summer or autumn (Cornus racemosa, Mahonia aquifolium)


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