Sunday, April 29, 2007

Blackhaw Viburnum

Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium)

We have a couple of specimens growing along the edge of the woods north of the house.

Black haw is usually grown as a large, upright, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with an irregular crown, but it also may be grown as a small, single trunk tree. As a shrub, it typically grows 12-15' tall with a spread of 6-12', but as a tree may reach a height of 30'. Commonly occurs in moist woods, thickets and on streambanks. Non-fragrant white flowers in flat-topped cymes (to 4.5" diameter) appear in spring. Flowers give way in autumn to blue-black, berry-like drupes which often persist into winter and are quite attractive to birds and wildlife. Ovate, finely toothed, glossy dark green leaves (to 4" long) turn attractive shades of red and purple in fall. Fruits are edible and may be eaten off the bush when ripe or used in jams and preserves. Common name refers to the purported similarity of this plant to hawthorns (sometimes commonly called red haws), though hawthorns are in a different family.

Source: Missouri Botanical Gardens
Also: Missouri Plants