Witherod Viburnum (Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides) in the Viburnums Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Witherod Viburnum
Give a thumbs up Wild Raisin
Give a thumbs up Possum Haw
Give a thumbs up False Paraguay Tea
Give a thumbs up Swamp Blackhaw
Give a thumbs up Appalachian Tea Viburnum

Botanical names:
Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides Accepted
Viburnum cassinoides Synonym
Viburnum squamatum Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 10 - 15 feet (3.0 - 4.5 m)
Plant Spread: 10 - 15 feet (3.0 - 4.5 m)
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: Extremely showy from cream to pink to red to finally blue/black, and long persistent
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: 2"-3"
3"-4"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Leaves
Fruit
Eating Methods: Tea
Raw
Cooked
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Butterflies
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Flood Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Self fertile
Stratify seeds
Sow in situ
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip
Layering
Pollinators: Bees
Various insects
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

a young shrub maturing

Photo gallery:
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2016-07-18a young shrub maturing
By ILPARW
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2016-07-18summer foliage
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by ViburnumValley (Scott County, KY - Zone 5b) on Jan 6, 2013 12:04 PM

Viburnum cassinoides is an excellent native shrub that is simply beset with an unfortunate array of infinitely forgettable common names. It is variously called Witherod (Withe-rod) Viburnum, Swamp Viburnum, Appalachian Tea Viburnum, Swamp Blackhaw, False Paraguay Tea, and Wild Raisin - all names found in the professional literature. Here I see comments now use the terminology of Possum Haw, which is synonymous with Viburnum nudum (Possumhaw Viburnum)!

Ultimately, this promotes confusion instead of knowledge. I welcome additional commentary here from gardeners and plantspersons that have grown this species and its closely related cousins, to amplify experience about their common and contrasting traits.

While Viburnum cassinoides is found in some southern states, it is primarily located at cooler higher elevation locations in the Appalachian mountain regions. It is the more northerly species (ranging from Manitoba and Minnesota to Newfoundland) compared to Viburnum nudum, which is mostly found in southerly and coastal states in lowland riparian situations.

This is a species that deserves greater landscape use across eastern North America, in the regions and zones where it is best acclimated - zones 3-6 in general, and further south to zone 8 with special conditions of elevation, coolness, and moisture.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 15, 2012 3:07 PM

Possum haw is a big, rounded, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub that thrives in damp woods, thickets, and swamps across eastern North America. Shrub form is rounded and multi-stemmed. Variety cassinoides is the more Southern type and has smaller, oval, matte green leaves, while var. nudum (from which Viburnum 'Winterthur' is derived), is more Northern and has leathery, glossy leaves. Flat-topped white flowers appear in spring and are followed in the fall by the most beautiful berry display imaginable. Clusters of large berries morph from light pink to brilliant pink-red to red, blue, then almost black before, finally, birds gobble them up. In addition to providing food for birds, this variety is particularly useful as a pollinator for Viburnum 'Winterthur'. Plant them nearby one another to get a bumper fruit of crop on 'Winterthur'. For best fruiting and fall foliage color, give Possum Haw full sun to light shade and average to moist soil. (Sunlight Gardens)

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jul 11, 2018 10:37 AM

The Witherrod Viburnum is a handsome medium to large shrub that grows about 6 to 12 feet high and wide. Its native range is from some spots in Louisiana to northern Florida up the Appalachian Region through New England into southeast Canada to Newfoundland and areas in Michigan and a little of northeast Wisconsin in bogs, swamps, dunes, old fields, and moist rocky woods. The foliage is glossy to dull of a thick texture that are usually irregularly toothed above the middle, but can be toothless, and that turn red or purplish-red in autumn. The slender twigs are velvety gray-brown with scurfy scales. The flat-topped white flower clusters are 2 to 4 inches across blooming in June with a disagreeable pungent odor. The spherical or oblong berry goes from yellowish to pink to red to blue-black maturing in mid-August to mid-October and are loved by birds and edible to humans. It has a fibrous, shallow root system and is easy to transplant. It is medium in growth speed of about 1.5 feet/year like most viburnums. I have not really seen this species myself in the wild or in landscapes, except once at Morton Arboretum in northeast Illinois. Some large diverse nurseries and native plant nurseries sell some. The Smooth Viburnum or Possumhaw is very similar and has been recently designated as another variety of the same species. The Witherrod usually has some irregular teeth on the margins above the middle, the twigs are definitely scurfy, and the flower clusters with the main stalk shorter than the cluster branches.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
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Cold Stream Farm by frankrichards16 Mar 3, 2015 7:14 PM 1

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