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Extension > Garden > Yard and Garden > Trees and Shrubs > Arrowwood Viburnum

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Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)

Kathy Zuzek and Karyn Vidmar

Plant description

Mature height: 5 to 12'
Mature width: 4 to 12'
Growth rate: Medium
Plant form: Multi-stemmed, dense, rounded, suckering
Deciduous or evergreen: Deciduous
Native range: Maine south to Florida, west to Iowa and Texas
Native to Minnesota: No

USA map of native range of Arrowwood viburunm

The native range of Arrowwood viburnum in North America. From USDA, NRCS Plants Database. Click to enlarge.


Light: Sun to partial shade
Soil texture: Sandy loams to clay soils
Soil pH: Prefers a pH of 6.6-7.5; tolerates higher soil pH
Soil moisture: Average to wet soils and well-drained to poorly-drained soils
Hardiness zone: 3 to 8
Pests and stresses: None serious. Visit What's wrong with my shrub? – Viburnum for a list of the most common viburnum pests in Minnesota.
Other: Salt tolerant, rarely damaged by deer

Arrowwood viburnum in the landscape

Arrowwood viburnum is a durable and easy-to-grow plant throughout most of Minnesota because of its hardiness and its adaptability across a wide range of soil textures, moisture levels, and soil pH. Its dense plant form makes this species well-suited for use in barriers, borders, hedges, or for screening. Other uses in the landscape include foundation plantings, massing, naturalizing, and as a specimen plant in autumn landscapes. Arrowwood viburnum can increase in width due to suckering and its large size may restrict its use in some landscapes. Cultivar additions such as Blue Muffin™ (8' x 7') and Raspberry Tart™ (5' x 5') with smaller plant size and slower growth rates are welcome additions to this species. The fruit of this species is attractive to birds and other wildlife.

Arrowwood viburnum provides two seasons of interest: spring and fall. In spring, the dark green, dense, toothed foliage provides a backdrop to the 2-4" flat-topped clusters of small white flowers from May through early June. Flower fragrance is often noted as mildly unappealing and may impact where gardeners choose to site this species in a landscape. One cultivar, Red Feather®, provides spring interest with new foliage that emerges red-purple before turning green. Autumn is the main season of interest for this species because of the colorful combination of blue to bluish black berries and fall foliage in tones of yellow, red, and purple.

Cultivars have been selected for spring foliage color, healthy glossy summer foliage, brilliant fall color, fruit density or color, and compact plant habit.

Some cultivars grown in Minnesota:

Large bush with white flowers

Kathy Zuzek, UMN Extension

Rounded dense mature plant form of 'Perle Bleu' arrowwood

close up of leaves with jagged edges

Julie Weisenhorn, UMN Extension

Green summer foliage of Northern Burgundy® arrowwood

close up of tiny white flowers in a group

Kathy Zuzek, UMN Extension

Spring flowers of 'Perle Bleu' arrowwood

bright red leaves

Kathy Zuzek, UMN Extension

Fall color of Northern Burgundy® arrowwood

small, purple-blue berries in clusters amongst leaves

Kathy Zuzek, UMN Extension

Ornamental autumn fruit of Chicago Lustre® arrowwood

  Cultivar selected for:
Cultivar Spring foliage color Glossy healthy summer foliage Fall color Showy fruit Compact plant habit
Autumn Jazz®     X X  
Blue Muffin®       X X
Chicago Lustre®   X   X  
Northern Burgundy®     X X  
Raspberry Tart®   X X X X
Red Feather® X   X X  
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