Plant ID forum→What cultivar Viburnum?

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Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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csandt
May 3, 2019 6:04 PM CST
Does anyone know the name of the cultivar for this Viburnum?

Thumb of 2019-05-04/csandt/d5a73d
Thumb of 2019-05-04/csandt/a0b2f9
Thumb of 2019-05-04/csandt/900da3

Thank you.
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Bookworm Annuals
Roses Hostas Xeriscape Daylilies Aroids Region: Mid-Atlantic
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csandt
May 3, 2019 6:18 PM CST
In looking at some Viburnum cultivars in the NGA database, it looks just like Japanese Snowball Bush (Viburnum plicatum):

Japanese Snowball Bush (Viburnum plicatum)

Any opinions on that conclusion?

Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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ViburnumValley
May 4, 2019 10:19 AM CST
Yes!

You are in the ballpark, and to get you rounding third and heading home to score requires a little botanical lumping versus splitting. I'll also comment on the hazards of common names and misleading-ness of same. The NGA database has a lot of information in it, but could stand some clearer organization - especially in combining "like with like" in this species.

Viburnum plicatum is certainly a species of Viburnum from Asia. It has been used horticulturally and ornamentally for millenia, and plant geeks way before us have preferentially selected plants for superior traits down through the ages, especially in Japanese and Chinese gardens. There likely is no longer species plants being grown horticulturally in this country.

What we see, buy, and plant today in the US is a small sliver of that broad rich genetic soup of this Viburnum. The plant you have shown us is mostly completely described as Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum (syn. Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum), which is the scientific name for the lacecap flowered version - which I prefer to call Doublefile Viburnum. It has no "snowball" characteristics, so I think that common name ought to be reserved for the next plant I will discuss here. The lacecap blooms are composed of the showy sterile bracts which surround the fertile flowers in the center of the bloom - from which the fruit form - and they march two-by-two (double file) above the foliage down the branches.

There are many selections of Doublefile Viburnum in commerce. A couple of full sized versions that are excellent ones are 'Mariesii' and 'Shasta'; others include 'Lanarth' and 'West Olive'. 'Shoshoni' is a great compact form, and 'Summer Snowflake' is a narrow one which repeat blooms. 'Molly Schroeder' blooms with a pinkish hue in its bracts. Doublefile Viburnum is stunning in flower, and amazingly colorful when it bears a heavy crop of its bright red fruit.

Here is a closeup of a Doublefile Viburnum bloom displaying the showy bracts around the fertile flowers in the center:
Thumb of 2019-05-04/ViburnumValley/384f7c

Here's a big 'Shasta' at the Valley:
Thumb of 2019-05-04/ViburnumValley/482d73

And a closeup of Doublefile Viburnum in fruit:
Thumb of 2019-05-04/ViburnumValley/8f6f8f

Viburnum plicatum f. plicatum is the name for the plant most properly called Japanese Snowball Viburnum. This is the plant that has been so heavily selected/hybridized over the years that the blooms are composed (almost always) solely of the showy sterile bracts - looking for all the world like a bunch of snowballs on the plant. Because there are few to no fertile flowers, there won't be fruit produced. Since the sterile bracts are not functioning reproductive structures, these blooms last and last - showy for a longer period in the landscape than Doublefile, but (in my opinion) less elegantly. There are many named selections of Japanese Snowball Viburnum. 'Popcorn', 'Newport', 'Kern's Pink', and 'Mary Milton' are just a few.

Here's a bloom closeup:
Thumb of 2019-05-04/ViburnumValley/a2741f

A full view of a Japanese Snowball Viburnum at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville KY:
Thumb of 2019-05-04/ViburnumValley/faed6c

Any questions?
John
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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porkpal
May 4, 2019 11:47 AM CST
No questions here - just a thank you for the tutorial.
Porkpal
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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ViburnumValley
May 4, 2019 3:04 PM CST
As heard before on forums: "Somebody stop him!"

It was my pleasure.
John
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Bookworm Annuals
Roses Hostas Xeriscape Daylilies Aroids Region: Mid-Atlantic
Image
csandt
May 4, 2019 3:08 PM CST
ViburnumValley said:Yes!

You are in the ballpark, and to get you rounding third and heading home to score requires a little botanical lumping versus splitting. I'll also comment on the hazards of common names and misleading-ness of same. The NGA database has a lot of information in it, but could stand some clearer organization - especially in combining "like with like" in this species.

Viburnum plicatum is certainly a species of Viburnum from Asia. It has been used horticulturally and ornamentally for millenia, and plant geeks way before us have preferentially selected plants for superior traits down through the ages, especially in Japanese and Chinese gardens. There likely is no longer species plants being grown horticulturally in this country.

What we see, buy, and plant today in the US is a small sliver of that broad rich genetic soup of this Viburnum. The plant you have shown us is mostly completely described as Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum (syn. Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum), which is the scientific name for the lacecap flowered version - which I prefer to call Doublefile Viburnum. It has no "snowball" characteristics, so I think that common name ought to be reserved for the next plant I will discuss here. The lacecap blooms are composed of the showy sterile bracts which surround the fertile flowers in the center of the bloom - from which the fruit form - and they march two-by-two (double file) above the foliage down the branches.

There are many selections of Doublefile Viburnum in commerce. A couple of full sized versions that are excellent ones are 'Mariesii' and 'Shasta'; others include 'Lanarth' and 'West Olive'. 'Shoshoni' is a great compact form, and 'Summer Snowflake' is a narrow one which repeat blooms. 'Molly Schroeder' blooms with a pinkish hue in its bracts. Doublefile Viburnum is stunning in flower, and amazingly colorful when it bears a heavy crop of its bright red fruit.

Here is a closeup of a Doublefile Viburnum bloom displaying the showy bracts around the fertile flowers in the center:
Thumb of 2019-05-04/ViburnumValley/384f7c

Here's a big 'Shasta' at the Valley:
Thumb of 2019-05-04/ViburnumValley/482d73

And a closeup of Doublefile Viburnum in fruit:
Thumb of 2019-05-04/ViburnumValley/8f6f8f

Viburnum plicatum f. plicatum is the name for the plant most properly called Japanese Snowball Viburnum. This is the plant that has been so heavily selected/hybridized over the years that the blooms are composed (almost always) solely of the showy sterile bracts - looking for all the world like a bunch of snowballs on the plant. Because there are few to no fertile flowers, there won't be fruit produced. Since the sterile bracts are not functioning reproductive structures, these blooms last and last - showy for a longer period in the landscape than Doublefile, but (in my opinion) less elegantly. There are many named selections of Japanese Snowball Viburnum. 'Popcorn', 'Newport', 'Kern's Pink', and 'Mary Milton' are just a few.

Here's a bloom closeup:
Thumb of 2019-05-04/ViburnumValley/a2741f

A full view of a Japanese Snowball Viburnum at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville KY:
[lightbox]2019-05-04/ViburnumValley/faed6c[/

Any questions?


John,
No questions, but a very big thank you for taking the time to share your considerable expertise in this comprehensive analysis and background. I have requested the image in question, along with two others that I posted in the spring of 2018 be moved to the database entry for Doublefile Viburnum (Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum), i.e., this entry: Doublefile Viburnum (Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum).
Carol
[Last edited by csandt - May 4, 2019 5:09 PM (+)]
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Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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ViburnumValley
May 4, 2019 7:22 PM CST
Thanks, Carol.

It is always my pleasure to talk about Viburnum - often to excess for others, but much to my enjoyment.

Off topic: I have enjoyed reading your posts about your visits to Public Gardens in the northeast that you travel to. I was born in southeastern Pennsylvania, but moved to Kentucky as a 5 year old. Many years later, as an adult and practicing professional horticulturist and landscape architect, I've been privileged to visit myriad gardens, arboreta, nurseries, and landscapes of the greater Philadelphia area and environs. I appreciate that there are others from that area that are willing to contribute their experiences and knowledge for the benefit of readers who don't get to travel there.

As you might imagine, I'm happy to continue to expound upon all things Viburnum - and other plants. Just ask...
John

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