General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 8 to 15 feet
Plant Spread: 8 to 15 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Fruit: Other: none, is sterile
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: 2"-3"
Flower Time: Spring
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

Common names
  • Japanese Snowball Bush
  • Japanese Snowball
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Viburnum plicatum
  • Synonym: Viburnum plicatum f. plicatum

  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 9, 2012 5:55 PM concerning plant:
    Valuable source of nectar and pollen for honey bees.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on May 5, 2019 4:32 PM concerning plant:
    This Japanese Snowball shrub is an old-fashioned plant first brought over from Japan in the late 1800's to the USA. I first saw a picture of it in the Countryside Book called Home Landscaping in the early 1970's that we used in landscape design class along with a textbook of landscape architecture. I've seen a few in the Chicago, Illinois region in average yards and a few in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania region in average yards also. Actually in early May 2019 I rode on my bicycle in the mostly old town (borough) where I live and found 4 different specimens of this shrub planted around in yards with the houses from the 1890's through the 1920's. What is strange is that this sterile-flowered mutation of the species was first discovered by the West rather than the normal, fertile species that is the Doublefile Viburnum (V. plicatum tomentosum), so it got the regular scientific name. The Japanese Snowball Viburnum bears the 2 to 3 inch diameter flowers usually about 2 or 3 weeks later than the Doublefile, and the flowers begin with a greenish tinge before becoming totally white. The flowers don't have any real odor and do not bear any fruit that would be a black drupe as is borne with the real species. The leaves are dark, with deep veins, simple, rounded, and of thick and rough texture. It is still offered by cheap mail order nursery catalogues. It can be bothered by aphids. The European Snowball Viburnum (V. opulus 'Roseum'), that is often confused with this Japanese shrub, is also an old-fashioned plant has larger flower clusters and three-lobed leaves that are of thin texture and don't have deep veins.
Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
not the same plant as Japanese Snowball by ILPARW May 5, 2019 4:36 PM 0
not the real Japanese Snowball by ILPARW May 5, 2019 4:41 PM 0
Misidentified photo by ViburnumValley Mar 13, 2022 3:21 PM 2

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