Part 2 - Exotic TreasuresIn Part 1, we took a look at some of our native berrying Viburnums and highlighted a few cultivars that stood out from the crowd. In Part 2 of this mini series of posts, I'll delve into the non-native Viburnums that have found homes in our gardens.
I should mention at this point that some of these introduced types are considered invasive in various parts of the country. While I'm not opposed to using non-natives, and have many in my garden, this is a highly debated issue. Like anything that produces heavy quantities of berries, you have the chance of the seeds being broadcast over a wide area by birds that consume the fruit as part of their diets. Though the potential for the plant to have invasive tendencies is there, the environmental conditions have to be just right for a population to explode. This situation can vary geographically, but as gardeners, we need to be responsible with our selections to make sure that there isn't a concern over it in your area.
However, part of the attraction of gardening is that we can grow plants from many different parts of the world in our own back yard. A trip to a well supplied garden center is like a walk around a virtual global bizarre, with many curiosities never before seen. I personally like the fact many of my own plantings aren't what you'll see in other gardens or mainstream nurseries but this can pose some risk without proper knowledge.
Viburnum davidii - David Viburnum
Viburnum dilatatum - Linden Viburnum
|Viburnum 'Cardinal Candy'|
'Cardinal Candy' is another excellent from the Proven Winners line-up of plants. It was selected for its improved hardiness when compared to other V.dilatatum types for northern gardens. The bright red clusters of berries make for a stunning display in fall but in spring it is valued for its abundant white flowers that can measure 5 inches across. Its big attraction is that it doesn't require another V.dilatatum variety nearby to set fruit and will happily self pollinate. Also, it mature size of 5-6 foot, high and wide, makes it very desirable for most gardens, where it won't swallow up the whole yard.
|Viburnum 'Michael Dodge'|
Viburnum setigerum - Tea Viburnum
The common name is a reflection of its use as a medicinal sweet tea made by Monks on Mount Omei, China. It was introduced by the great plant collector, Ernest Wilson in 1901, who I've mentioned in past posts, but who also was responsible for bringing the David Viburnum into cultivation. The shrub matures to a multi-stemmed upright vase habit, reaching 8 to 10 ft height and spreading to a narrower 6 to 8 ft width. However, it does lack sufficient growth to cover the bottom third of its base, so you'll need to either landscape around it with plants that can mask its bareness, or trim it to accentuate its form as a small tree. Despite this minor negative, the fruit display makes up for its short comings with and impressive abundance of orange to red berries that can be prolific at some times. For its berries, the Tea Viburnum is one of my top picks for its fall display, and definitely commands attention when fruits appear in the fall. I have not come across any named varieties of the Tea Viburnum, but I do know that one exists for a orange berried form called 'Aurantiacum'. Still, why would someone want to mess with perfection anyway.
|Tea Viburnum - From Flickr.com 'althea in il'|
With such a diversity within the group, its easy to find a Viburnum that fit your needs and desires. Mostly, Viburnums are selected for their flowers but their worth in the fall landscape is equally as important. Viburnums are tough, durable and adaptable, making them an idea shrub for difficult locations. So, next time you're in the market for a shrub with colorful fruits, take a look at one of these, you'll be pleasantly surprised!
Don't forget to read the first part of this series @ Damn good plants - Berrying Viburnums part 1