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Viburnums for all year interest

Posted on 18th June 2015

With Chelsea 2015 plant of the year being named as Viburnum kilimanjaro ‘Sunrise’ it seems fitting to have a look at some of the best Viburnum sp. for flowers across the seasons.

If you like the flowers of Viburnum Kilimanjaro you will also love the lace cap type flowers of Viburnum plicatum var tomentosum ‘Mariessii’ (often sold as Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariessii’). This shrub is easy to grow and suits most soils and does well in full sun or partial shade if planted in a fairly sheltered spot. The structure of this plant begins to develop after 3-4 years and it has a striking tiered effect, enhanced by the broad, flat white flowers that sit all the way along the upper side of the stem in May and Early June. The Shrub is broadly rounded and can make 2-3 meters across and a similar height. Viburnum kilimanjaro is a taller, narrower version and the cultivar ‘Sunrise’ has a pink flush to the petals.

A superb Viburnum for winter interest is Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Charles Lamont’, Viburnum x bodnantense is a favourite for its long flowering season throughout the winter and the superb scent of its pink flushed flowers but it is worth seeking out the cultivar ‘Charles Lamont’ which has dark purple stems to set the flowers off and even more abundant flowers. Although it is deciduous, it has good autumn colour and the young leaves are flushed with copper when young.

For early Spring flowers Viburnum × carlcephalum produces large pompom like flower heads that are flushed with pink and have a subtle perfume and Viburnum davidii is a domed evergreen shrub with large, leathery bold leaves with 3 prominent veins and is early spring flowering. The flowers are followed by electric blue berries borne in terminal clusters on the stems of the female plants. If you want a good display of these highly attractive berries it is essential that you plant 2 or more of this species, making sure that you have at least one plant of each gender.