Vivacious Viburnum

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Walter’s viburnum (Viburnum obovatum) is pictured in full flower with Friends of the St Sebastian River President Tim Glover for scale at Blackwater Creek Ranch, a spectacular property along some of the tributaries of Blue Cypress Creek. On 3/13/206, Blackwater Creek Ranch hosted a benefit for the Environmental Learning Center (ELC). ELC Development Director Camille Yates also posed with this flower-laden plant.

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In full to dappled sun, flowering for 2 to 3 weeks in the early spring can be fabulous.

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Each flower itself is tiny with 5 petals, 5 stamens, and five green sepals.

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The flowers are held in a convex terminal cyme; The flowers at the “top” of this branched inflorescence open first.

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Its small leaves are opposite, essentially sessile and often, though not always, finely toothed. Small-leaf viburnum and black haw viburnum are other common names for this plant. Its fruits, a small drupe (single-seeded, fleshy fruit), are blue-black when ripe and are spread by birds.

Usually found in  hydric hammocks, along swamp edges, and riverine forests, this evergreen plant is quite adaptable to a variety of soil conditions and, upon establishment, is rather drought tolerant. This plant, as you can see from the first photos, reaches substantial size and can be grown as a shrub or a small tree. Some  cultivars that maintain a smaller size and are less likely to sucker. can be found for sale in the nursery trade.

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