Still about Viburnums: berries

beebooks(5)April 25, 2003

Greeetings. I am new to the forum. I have searched for an answer to my question, but I'm still confused.

We are planting for birds in our back yard. We live in central Iowa, zone 5. Along with some of the other bird-attracting plants we have planned, we want to plant viburnum, but I'm confused about how to get a good berry crop. I read about needing to plant more than one clone. Is this true for all varieties of Viburnum? Does "more than one clone" mean more than one plant or more than one variety?

While I'm at it, may I also ask which varieties are most attractive to birds for my zone?

Thanks much!


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Viburnums are self-fruitful. Almost all make berries, but whether or not they are eaten seems to depend on what for birds you have. In ME, the berries of V. trilobum, for instance, disappear by mid-winter. Here in PA the berries hang on all winter some years. Some are out there even as I write this. Turkeys came by and ate the low ones, but didn't seem to want to crane their necks for the ones a bit higher. Still and all, the Viburnum family is large and surely some make fruit that is sought after.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2003 at 9:10PM
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Hi Pete,

Thanks for the message. I am particularly interested in the V. trilobum, as it is a native. I may not have room for more than one, so I just wanted to be sure that if I plant just one, that I will get fruit. My parents (who also live in Iowa) have one (just one) of these, but they say it never gets fruit on it. So, I was confused.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2003 at 10:51PM
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I think you're going to need more than one to get fruit. See the following site.
Note that you don't need two of the same.....just 2 of the viburnum species.

Here is a link that might be useful: Viburnum

    Bookmark   April 26, 2003 at 1:01AM
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Annz, I think they are trying to sell shrubs. Notice that when you have 2, both plants set fruit. They are not selling male and female. This must mean that both plants have male and female. For years I only had one, and it set fruit. Now that there are about 10 Viburnums here, the fruit are not any more numerous. It could be that better fruit set, or more reliable set will occur with 2, but everything I've ecperienced with this genus leads me to believe that they are monoecious (both sexes on one plant.)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2003 at 10:50AM
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If you buy species, not hybrids, you need only one. They are self-fruitful (monoecious). Many hybrids, which are bred only for big, showy flowers, are sterile, period. Buy species (for example, cranberry bush viburnum is V. trilobum, arrowwood is V. dentatum), and you can't go wrong.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2003 at 5:20PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

There are alot of Viburnum threads that will help you get things sorted out as to what to plant to get berries. Do a search here and on the shrubs forum. Meanwhile check out the extremely helpful thread about viburnums setting fuit on the shrubs forum linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Why don't my viburnums have/keep berries?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2003 at 5:21PM
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Thanks for the tips everyone! I'm looking forward to doing a little experimenting and seeing what we get and what the birds like. I found another discussion about Viburnums and pollination on the shrubs forum. See the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Viburnum dentatum & Friends

    Bookmark   April 27, 2003 at 2:37PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

There have been a lot of good threads about Viburnums on GW. Do a search, and stand back.

Anecdotal info aside (apologies to PPete and Elaine), but viburnums are GENERALLY (not absolutely) self-incompatible for fruiting. They ARE monoecious, not dioecious. But as an orchardist might plant several clones of fruit trees in order to have cross-pollination and thus ample fruit set, it's a good plan to have multiple plants of similar/related (not cloned) viburnum. If you have room, why not? It's just good insurance.

If you plant a native one or an exotic one, you should still have a non-clone of the same species or closely related species planted relatively nearby that has an overlapping bloom time in order to set decent fruit. In native-like situations, these additional plants probably already exist to provide ready-made cross-pollination.

You can read this information for yourself in any number of texts/encyclopedias/university research, and they aren't selling you anything but facts.

As Elaine mentions, seedling grown plants guarantee non-clones. There aren't any sterile native viburnums that I can think of; the ones that spring to mind include some V. opulus clones; the species V. plicatum; and some of the hybrids of multiple non-natives. There maybe one sterile V. trilobum (Compactum), but those are so confused with the V. opulus that it would take a DNA test to sort them out for sure.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 6:58PM
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No apologies necessary to me. Were I able to hold a candle to you, (and several of the other Kentuckians on these forums) I would have my own nursery business. As it is, the learning curve is steep and I will burn the candle out before I can even go out into my back yard and know what I'm looking at. But, now that we have your attention, I would like to know what would pollinate V. rhytidophyllum. They are common enough, but I have never seen fruit on any. Mine came through this winter in great shape, and I love the wood smoke smell to the blossoms. I wonder what would pollinate it.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 7:44PM
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Thank you, Viburnumvalley! I've been scouring the Garden Web and the Internet for the past couple of days. Based on all the good information I found, I decided what to do. Feel free to jump in and stop me if I have still made an obvious mistake!

Over the weekend, I bought one V. lantana 'Mohican' that I found at a local nursery. I have decided to plant it in the front of the house for its size and appearance. In the back of the house, where I am concentrating on the bird habitat, I've decided to plant two cultivars of V. trilobum. I chose V. trilobum for it's berries which hold on into the winter, so that the birds have a food source during the winter time. I have seen 'Bailey Compact' and 'Compactum' at local nurseries. I've read that 'Bailey Compact' has better fall color (red vs. yellow). I think the combination I will go for is either V. trilobum (if I can find it) + V. trilobum 'Bailey Compact' or V. trilobum 'Bailey Compact' + V. trilobum 'Wentworth' (supposed to have a superior berry crop). I haven't seen 'Wentworth' locally yet, but it is available through mail order.

In my research, I found a nice list of many viburnum varieties and details of each. See the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Viburnums from Twombly Nursery

    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 9:07PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

PAPete: you must be the only gardener in the northeast (of here) that isn't bellyaching about how bad their broadleaf evergreens look after this winter. Thou doth protesteth too much about the learning curve...

Somebody on the shrubs forum asked about pollination of the leatherleaf types recently; hope I don't contradict myself. I'd look to get viburnums with V. rhytidophyllum in their parentage, or the components of that parentage, to have a shot at pollinating your plant (Dirr speaks to these species specifically on p. 1081 in his latest edition). Here's a list to try:

V. x rhytidophylloides and clones (V. lantana and V. rhytidophyllum)

V. lantana and clones

V. rhytidophyllum Cree, and other clones (National Arboretum selection)

V. x Emerald Triumph (V. x rhytidophylloides Allegheny and V. burejaeticum)

V. burejaeticum

V. x pragense (V. rhytidophyllum and V. utile)

Have at it! Pragense and the Allegheny types will be the easiest to locate. And as always must be said, the bloom times need to OVERLAP for potential success.

BeeBooks: post some of your questions over on the shrubs forum, and coax a response out of Kevin (viburnum-phile from upper IL) who might be able to offer more cogent comments for your territory. V. trilobum just suffers in the heat and high soil temps in KY. If you've got more than one clone that can set fruit, you should have fruit on yours.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2003 at 9:53PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I can't find the Viburnum Blather thread nor the one called Why don't my viburnums have/keep berries?. Must have fallen off the board. Things move quickly here in the spring.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2003 at 8:25PM
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I don't remember a Viburnum Blather thread. Wondering if I missed it or was it called something else?
Here's the Why don't my... thread again for Beebooks or anyone else that missed it. The words are highlighted because I had to click on cached (feature on to get it to come up. It won't stay there forever so if you want to read it again, save it as a document or print it out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Why don't my Viburnums have/keep berries?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2003 at 9:25AM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

I think I was responsible for the "Viburnum blather" moniker. I've linked the thread from January below, which was mainly about Viburnum dilatatum hardiness and pollinators.

Update for the "blather": here is my sequence for bloom amongst the Vdils rated at my house, central KY zone 5a/6b. These are this year's notes, certainly not the rule for all years/conditions.

1. Catskill (April 28-May 15; May 8 full)
2. Erie (May 8-May 25; May 13 full)
3. Oneida (May 8-May 21; May 14 full)
4. Iroquois (May 9-May 18; May 15 full) Note: abused plant
5. Asian Beauty (May 9-May 25; May 13 full)
6. Michael Dodge (May 13-still blooming; May 19 full)

The Michael Dodge are just past full bloom today, but still look good. Hopefully next year will include Cardinal Candy, among others, to include in the evaluation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Viburnum dilatatum

    Bookmark   May 26, 2003 at 1:53PM
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Ahh - NYRita already found that one. Guess I need to save them all somewhere. They have lots of good information that might not come back up again for awhile.
I noticed my dentatums didn't bloom at the same time. I got Autumn Jazz and Chicago Lustre to go with my plain ol' dentatum but the species bloomed first and were done before the other's started.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2003 at 6:28PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

Alright, Christie, you coaxed it out of me. I went out and about in the collection this afternoon and recorded more info on the V. dentatum sequences, against my calendar records. Pardon if my spelling goes awry; I just had a wonderful dinner with my DW: oysters of two styles with a nice bottle of champagne from my brother and sister-in-law. Life in KY is tough...

Arrowwood (V. dentatum) bloom sequence in central KY (zone 5a/6b)

1. Cardinal
2. Indian Summer
3. Crimsontide
4. Red Regal
5. Perle Bleu
6. Northern Burgundy
7. Chicago Lustre
8. Autumn Jazz
9. Emerald Luster (listed as V. bracteatum)

FYI: Chicago Lustre, Autumn Jazz, and Emerald Luster are still tight bud; no open blooms as yet compared to the others listed above. Northern Burgundy is just starting; the others have completed bloom and are setting fruit.

I have acquired several new (to me) clones this year that haven't bloomed yet, and I do not ascribe them a sequence related to the others listed above due to vagaries of nursery production. They are, and include rooted cuttings that DW has produced and I haven't planted out in the collection, the following:

1. Blue Muffin
2. Blue Blaze
3. Papoose
4. Fireworks
5. Tecumseh
6. Tonawanda
7. Pathfinder
8. Moonglow
9. V. rafinesquianum
10. Pathfinder

Of course, I am still after the elusive Red Feathers that Kevin waxes eloquently about, as well as Saratoga and Raspberry Tart. Stay tuned.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2003 at 11:37PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Just when I was finially getting the idea about needing another clone for polination, now we have to make sure the cultivars bloom at the same time. Makes perfect sence, of corse, but I never thought about it before.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2003 at 4:00PM
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If you buy species, and only species, you will have no pollination problems. You are making this more difficult for yourself than it need be.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2003 at 10:41AM
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Viburnums of the same species from different source regions may not bloom synchronously, either. The big advantage of species in this regard is that multiple individuals from the same source will not be not clones, and therefore will bloom together and fertilize each other...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2003 at 10:51AM
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Just checked today and my Chicago Lustre is still blooming. Autumn Jazz is done and the species was done even sooner and has a few little green berries. Might be some in the area though growing wild that would pollinate it. Mine were all planted last year so the bloom time should be a little longer when they're mature and overlap a little (I hope).

    Bookmark   June 5, 2003 at 6:59PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Well, my native Arrowoods still have very green bloom clusters, not even close to ready to bloom. My Blue Pearls, on the other hand, are on a schedule of their own. Of the three bushes with blooms (I have six Blue Pearls total) one has totally finished blooming, one is near the end of blooming and the last is at the begining of its bloom cycle. Now I looked at the clusters that have dropped flowers and its obvious that very, very, very few berries have set.

I am about ready to pull my hair out. Going nuts, as they say. Since after I purchased the Blue Pearls last fall, I was sure I was going to get berries because I have the two large species shrubs.

Now its obvious that these darn things are not on the same bloom schedule. Now what????? How the heck do I get these Blue Pearls to set fruit next year??

    Bookmark   June 22, 2003 at 1:33PM
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Your native 'species' arrowwoods should produce good fruit set, although I am amazed at how far behind you are. Mine (V. dentatum) stopped blooming weeks ago.

I suggest you talk to a good nursery person about other varieties that will bloom at the same time as your 'Blue Pearls'. Sometimes the standard reference books will have information about bloom sequence for horticultural varieties. I also suggest you post this specific question on the Shrub forum. They're always up for a good viburnum questions, and there are some real experts in that group.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2003 at 12:27PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

My May 26 response above gave a sequence of bloom times for Viburnum dentatum, arrowwood. This should be an accurate guide for those who have "lone bloomers" that need partners. I am presently investigating provenance (geographic origin) of these selections, in order to propose likely bloom overlap in different regions.

I agree with JohnMO almost completely. Different regional sources of the same species can and do bloom at different times; however, species plants (which most people assume are any that are not named cultivars or clones) could still be vegetatively propagated (from cuttings, division, etc.) and thus be genetically identical. This is a common way to get around paying royalties on trademark/patent names (take cuttings of Blue Monster, but sell it only as Viburnum dentatum species). Or find a nifty Viburnum dentatum in the wild, collect a bunch of cuttings to start stock plants, and then propagate endlessly from this supply. Still clonal; just unnamed.

The way to have genetic diversity is to grow everything you are discussing from seed. With viburnum, this is not often done because this genera generally takes two years to germinate. For nurserymen, this is not a good payoff. Some will take the time; many do not. When your sources are large commercial suppliers, ask the questions before you buy, or expect the consequences.

I agree with ElaineNJ6 insofar as if you buy seed-grown plants from one region, they ought to always bloom together. Guaranteeing that that is the case is another matter altogether.

If there were just more local growers of local species, we'd all be set. As long as gardeners are willing to mailorder from just about anywhere, you will get these mixed provenances and then work out the differences. But isn't that part of the fun of learning?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2003 at 6:28PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Ha, Ha, Viburnumvalley. Did not think your May 26th post about the bloom sequence of Arrowood Viburnum applied to ME. :-) After all, I wanted all mine to bloom at the same time so it NEVER occured to me that they would not! Thick, huh?

Anyway, I have seen many species Arrowoods at local Nurseries in bloom during the past two weeks, just not mine in my yard. Saw some gorgous shrubs when I went out to an East End Long Island Native plant nursery and bought my Winterthur Viburnum. Problem with these Arrowoods was that they were quite large, Burlapped and oh so expensive. And I was not thinking I needed to buy at that time. Now I know I am going to have to do something.

Today I saw Blue Muffins past bloom, seems like they bloomed at the same time as at least some of my Blue Pearls.

To top things off, I bought all my Blue Pearls from Forest Farm. They are planted in a cluster of three in the same area of the yard so you can't even blame the differing bloom times on diferent sources or mini climate of yard location. They have strted off growing well this year, which I am very pleased about because they were such spindly things last Fall and got flatted by the snow but bounced back. Its not as if I would have gotten massive amounts of berries this year either as young shrubs do not have lots of blooms.

Why the species is so late, I have no idea. The shrubs are gorgous and healthy, loaded with bloom clusters. When I bought them last August they had lots of nice green berries which later turned purple and were eaten by the local Mockingbird. They did leaf out very, very late. I know I was yapping on some Viburnum thread about that fact that it took forever for them to be getting any leaves, much less blooms.

John, I am not sure were to find a nursery that really KNOWS. Maybe I can try the one with the pricey large shrubs, that place at least has an owner that knows what he's talking about.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2003 at 8:45PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Well, shock of all shocks. The Species Arrowoods have started blooming!!!! Hurray!!!! I have watching them and this heat we have had here in the Northeast since Monday has been causing the bloom clusters to get whiter and whiter. What we needed around here, some Summertime weather instead of the unusually cold and rainey spring.

My new Winterthur is blooming planted in its spot just next to the Count Polaski, which isn't blooming and still looks very green. These two were both just planted this spring, so its easy to blame the lack of co-ordination on not having a chance to settle in and adjust to conditions in my yard.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2003 at 12:23PM
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I've found all your posts interesting and I hope I don't offend anybody, but if you're planting for wildlife, why not just stick with the species?

I can understand cultivars if you want subtle differences, but if you want Viburnum for wildlife, it seems to me that staying with the species is the best bet, IMHO.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2003 at 5:49PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Well, I got the Blue Pearl because I fell for the hype. You know plant description saying very heavy fruiting variety. Now, I don't know how many fruits set just because a Viburnum flowers because I just don't have enough experience with Viburnums. But I can say that I just don't see how the Blue Pearls can possibly have more bloom clusters than the species Arrowwoods I have because they are covered and I mean absolutely covered in blooms. I am anxiously waiting for berry clusters to set.

As far as planting for wildlife. Yes, I am planting things to attract backyard birds to my garden. I want to see more songbirds here as well as Hummingbirds, Butterflys and Honey and Bumble Bees. So I have planned my gardens with those things in mind but above all, the things have to please me. I don't have some far off area in the woods away from the house were I could plant whatever and not be concerned with what it looks like. I have to make everything count in the garden. Of course my only point is that it looks good to me. I know that someone else might do it very differently.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2003 at 10:11PM
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roseunhip(z5b QC)

OK, here is my freshman experience bit about V. trilobum (I am so glad I found this forum!). I am in the Montreal area, where viburnums are infested with a specific type of aphid either common to this region or recently introduced. Four years ago I transplanted (we had to move) a 3 or 4 year specimen grown from nursery seed (specialized in native plants), in a semi-shaded situation. Year after year, great flowering never produced more than a few scarce fruits (12-15 at the max!), in spite of great care about the soil, watering, etc. Now, this early spring, after reading so much about cross-polination for viburnums, I finally rescued a wild specimen from a developing site, that still bore fruits from last year. I transplanted this new one in full sun, about 15 feet away from the nursery one. Luckily, it bloomed this year, and even more luckily, almost simultaneously with the other one. I watched and prayed as the bees went from one to the other. Now both are in crops, and not only the newly transplanted one bears fine ones considering its recent transplant, but the production of the older one (in the semi-shade situation) has increased hundred-fold!! I can hardly believe this drastic change!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2003 at 9:11AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I now have green berries on my two species Arrowwood shrubs but they did not set as heavily as I thought they would. Last year when I bought them with green berry clusters most of the clusters were full but of course there were far less clusters than this year. This spring I was surprised at the number of bloom clusters. But the fruit did not set on all the flowers. Much variety amoung the clusters from about 10 percent fruit set to about 80 percent fruit set. Is this normal for the species?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2003 at 4:54PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

So, I figgured out a spot to plant another species Arrowwood that would be close enough to pollinate the two I have. Now I just have to make sure I get a species shrub, not an unmamed clone, from another grower besides the one I got mine from so that they pollinate each other.

I have one berry cluster on my Blue Pearls on the last bloom cluster to bloom on the last of the three shrubs to bloom. Guess it got pollinated by the species.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2003 at 11:39AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I just planted a Blue Muffin Arrowwood and I also bought a Northern Burgandy. I figgure if I add some Arrowwood clones I did not have, some day I will get lucky and they will bloom and cross polinate each other. I can't really have a plan because it seems like the same shrubs in my yard that others have in their yards bloom at a different time sequence for me.

Another thing I was just thinking about is the fact that I have my six Blue Pearl Arrowwoods planted in the yard in two clusters of three shrubs. Now this year the one cluster of the larger grouping bloomed but the smaller grouping did not. All of them have grown alot since this spring so I figgure the smaller cluster will be blooming next year. Since its in a different section of the yard, who knows if it will bloom at the same time as the larger cluster. Geezz, the three plants of that cluster didn't even bloom altogether but in a sequence. Strange. Now all of the Blue Pearls came from Forest Farm so its not like I have gotten them from different sources.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2003 at 12:38PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Well, I got lucky and found a nice shrub Species Arrowood Viburnum today at a local nursery marked down half price to a steal. Love a bargain! Nice full shape and form with lots of branching. There were lots of them and I sorted thru them and found a really nice one, full with nice healthy glossy leaves and lots of fruit clusters. The shrubs were mixed as far as fruit went, some had none, some alittle and few had a fair amount of fruit. But this one had a goodly amount of fruit.

The whole thing reminds me of the species Arroowwood shrubs I got last Summer. Also at half price with nice green fruit. My new one of shorter but still a nice size. So, this one is not from the same grower as my others. They claim its the real deal (i.e. species) not some unnamed clone. So we will see how the fruit set goes next year. Wish me luck!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 3:50PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

A great Viburnum that produces unbelievable ammounts of gorgeous orange berries is V. setigerum. They are truely self fruitful so they work well if there is only room for one. The shrub is narrow, so it fits into a smaller space.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2003 at 1:02PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

On the off-chance that readers here haven't perused the whole thread, and haven't lurked over on the shrub forum (this info repeats on the V. nudum thread), I'm copying a summary here.

As everyone on this thread has heard before (ad nauseum), but I'll repeat it for those who start reading at this end:

Self-fruitful yes; self-pollinating, not so much. There are anecdotes otherwise; I'll not argue against them. Overwhelming experience, though, says multiple plants of Viburnum fruit best.

Almost (notice this isn't absolute) every Viburnum plant is capable of producing fruit, if it is cross-pollinated by a genetically different (but similar species) plant. The very few sterile Viburnum out there often have 'Sterile' in their name. For example:

Viburnum opulus 'Sterile'

I believe plain old Viburnum plicatum (NOT var. tomentosum) is given species status, but none of the plants I'm aware of can set fruit. This is an Asian species, grown for millenia, and probably individuals with showy sterile florets have been selected and selected and selected for all these years, till what we sell/grow today has lost the female flower parts for reproduction. A mule, so to speak, only reproducible by cloning.

There are Viburnum trilobum, a native species, that have been selected for one trait or another like compactness, that also set few/no fruit. Similar situation to above.

Additionally, many of the complex parentage hybrids set few fruit simply because they are planted exclusively clonally; bloom at odd times; and/or the parent species aren't around to do the pollination.

Gardeners do well to learn some of this before purchase, or be prepared for disappointment (or a trading opportunity!) afterward. But isn't learning the point?

There are still those on GW that insist that "pure species" is the only way to go. They must not understand that Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur' IS a pure species native plant, as well as all the selections of Viburnum dentatum, etc., and any plant that doesn't have complex (multiple species) parentage. It occurred as a seedling plant at Winterthur Gardens in Delaware (or PA?), and was selected and vegetatively propagated because of its outstanding flower, foliage, fruit, and form. I believe this to be the best way to introduce little-known and little used native plants to use by the general public. The learning process begins with adequate exposure. The follow-through is providing the information and opportunity to plant a non-identical clone (or "pure species") of Viburnum nudum with Winterthur so that the great fruiting occurs.

Use of Winterthur, esp. in the northeast metroplex, is MORE environmentally/wildlife sensitive (if that is the gardener's intent) than planting seedling-grown native plants originating in gene pools from other parts of the US.

Seems to me, for this thread, that a clearinghouse of V. nudum (or V. dentatum, or V. trilobum) clones/species/sources needs to be set up by the thirsting throngs. Someone with a propagating thumb should root cuttings from all the contributors, and in one season the problem could be solved. V. nudum (and V. dentatum) is one of the easier plants to root, and with enough variation in the sources everyone can end up with an appropriate pollinator. NOTE: I am not suggesting that anyone violate any plant patents/trademarks/registrations in the process of vegetative reproduction.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2003 at 11:34AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I hope Viburnumvalley and Kevin never stop reading and posting on these forums. I, for one, really appreciate what I have learned about Viburnums because of the knowledge shared by them in our various Viburnum discussions!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2003 at 5:19PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

This is another of the great Viburnum discussion Posts that should be saved on some super Best of the Best Forum.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2004 at 1:36PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Viburnums are just starting to leaf out here, at lest some of them.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2004 at 9:20PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

My Species Arrowood Viburnum are blooming now, the last of the Viburnums in my yard to bloom. They just started blooming too.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 11:34AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

So far this year, I have berries on my Wintherthur, Count Polaski, Wentworth, V. opulus, cassinoides, and a stray berry here and there on some of my others.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 10:02PM
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How can you tell that you are getting species? Is it just that they won't have a name like "Blue Muffin" or "Wentworth"
and it seems like mostly what I see are cultivers!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 9:20PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Mine just said they were Arrowood Viburnums on the labels.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 11:48AM
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lesleynd(z3/4 ND)

Also does bloom time etc differ in different zones. My being in a colder climate, would they maybe bloom later than in a warmer one?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2005 at 5:38PM
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Lesley, I think that is a fair assumption. I would definitely call St. Lawrence Nursery. Your zone is probably similar to their zone, and I bet they would be really helpful to you.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 7:54AM
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lesleynd(z3/4 ND)

Thanks Vonyon for letting me know about that nursery. I will be contacting them when I decide what I think I want and see what they say.
In the meantime, here I suppose is a very stupid question. I now understand the concept of getting viburnums of the same species, different variety, that bloom around the same time for pollination. Right?
OK so what happens if I buy eg a Species Viburnum Dentatum from a place in Oregon (I think it is) and same thing from extension service here in ND will they pollinate each other.(If they bloom at the same time.) They are species, they don't need another to pollinate correct?. But will they be more fruitful if they do pollinate each other. Or won't it make any difference. I think once I understand this species concept, I will know what I am doing!!!!! Thanks

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 11:30AM
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Leslie: I think you are right. Viburnums are supposed to be monoecious, so don't need another plant to bear fruit. They will be self-fruitful. I thought though that it will increase your yield if they can be cross-pollinated by a plant from different parentage. According to some on here, if you buy species, you do not need another variety. That is another reason to get species and to get a couple from different sources. The thing about the named cultivars is that the stock is all from the same plant no matter where you buy it from. I believe it is patented or something like that. The fact that they are from the same parentage won't help increase the yield even if they do least that is the way I understand it. I hope some expert comes on here to give you a real answer. My knowledge only comes from coming here and reading. I just started my border two years ago, so haven't had many berries yet.

St. Lawrence is very good, but expensive. Still you could pick their brains if you are going to be at least one or two plants from them. I found their stuff to be very healthy. I didn't buy a lot, but I bought a few for cross-pollination. The bulk of my stuff came from NH Nursery and Cold Stream Farms in Michigan. Since those are all northern nurseries, their stock will probably work for you.

The other thing you could do is to do a search on viburnums and you will get a lot of threads. These kinds of questions come up a lot. If that doesn't help, you may want to post this question on the Shrubs forum. I think some of the experts read over there too. They may get busy and not get a chance to answer here.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 7:24PM
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lesleynd(z3/4 ND)

Thanks. I checked on that nursery and I agree that they are expensive for the size. Funny the nursery I was thinking of buying from was the one you mentioned Cold Sream Farms not Oregon.. They have good sized species. What do you think of the shrubs you have received from them?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 7:31PM
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Cold Stream Farm is a nice family-run business. The staff is helpful. The operation is not as polished as some others though. I thought their packaging left a bit to be desired. They had stapled the plants into old grain bags and sent them on their way. I think they had been tipped about on the ride. When I received them, some of the roots had lost the dirt/sawdust packing and had dried out and a few of the tops were broken off. They also sent me hawthorne trees instead of something else. When I called them, they quickly sent out the replacements and told me to keep the hawthornes which was really nice. Their prices are very reasonable, but I did find the other nurseries that I dealt with took much more care in shipping. As a result, I think you get what you pay for there. So, would I order from them again? Probably if they had what I wanted, and I needed a large quantity of something that I couldn't get from NH Nursery. (NH has a minimum of 10 plants of each species) Otherwise, if I'm buying a few shrubs, I'll probably go to St. Lawrence or Pine Ridge. I just thought their stuff came through the ride a little better. How many shrubs are you buying? Check this link out. I was extremely pleased with the things I got from them. Of course, I am local, so I was able to pick them up.

Here is a link that might be useful: NH Nursery

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 9:51PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)


Check out the link below, or click over to the Shrubs forum and read it there. Though voluminous, it has most of what you want to know about viburnums and rationale of pollination. Speaking of voluminous: stop now if you don't have your athletic reading shoes on.

You and vonyon are real close, hitting all around the concept of the conditions necessary for fine fruiting. I'll provide some more clarification of what I think you are looking for, information-wise.

FIRST: there are some who claim that the only reason that anyone says you need two different plants with viburnums is so that they can sell you something. Hogwash. University professors, researchers, and people on GW don't have a financial interest in your garden. You can send me money if you want; I'd rather see you post (by this fall) that your viburnums are loaded with fruit because you installed several dissimilar individuals.

NEXT: Viburnums are monoecious, as Vonyon states above. So are most of the Rosaceae family (Malus, Prunus, Pyrus, Amelanchier, Rosa, etc.) but many fruit tree growers will vouch for increased fruit production when multiple clones of a species are planted in proximity in order to provide cross-pollination opportunities. This implies (and researchers/scientists/someone besides me can verify better) SELF-INCOMPATIBILITY of individuals despite each plant having perfect flowers. This doesn't mean that a plant CANNOT pollinate itself, just that it does very little or poorly. There is anecdotal evidence (here on GW, and elsewhere) of some solitary plants of some species of viburnums that produce decent fruit crops, but it is so easy to plant a couple different ones that it defies logic not to. Co-opt a neighbor or some such if you don't personally have room.

NEXT: The biggest confusion I observe here is the issue of species versus clone or cultivar. The best way to resolve this is to do a little reading in a biology or botany text, but I'll endeavor to layman-ize it. When someone says "I have the species Viburnum dentatum, not any clone" what they are saying is that they have an unnamed plant of arrowwood, not a named plant of arrowwood like Chicago Lustre. What they don't say (and maybe don't know) is whether they have a seedling of Viburnum dentatum. THAT MATTERS. If they know they have a seedling (grown from seed, not just a little plant), then they have a genetically distinct individual of Viburnum dentatum from a known provenance. If they just have an unnamed plant, it could just as well be a clone depending on propagation method. And on we go...

NEXT: Propagation....every Chicago Lustre is (should be) identical to every other Chicago Lustre because the plant is reproduced VEGETATIVELY (clonally or asexually), generally from cuttings that are then rooted. Species plants of arrowwood can also be produced this way. This is the trap that many individuals seem to fall into, in these threads, when claiming that they have "the species" and not necessarily knowing if they have seedlings or simply unnamed but clonally-produced plants. When plants are produced from seed (SEXUALLY) this means that there has been some genetic mixing between two parent plants resulting in seedlings that are related to but not identical to the parent producing the seed. Individually, these seedlings are no more or less capable of self-pollination. Are you worn out yet?

If you purchase and plant more than one Viburnum dentatum that were grown from seed (similar but not identical), then these will be fine for providing cross-pollination conditions if they have overlapping bloom times.

NEXT: Your question about buying plants from Oregon and from North Dakota was the best one yet. Overlapping bloom times is the critical factor. If they bloom with a month separating them, no dice. If they overlap, you should have oodles of fruit.

NEXT: Provenance is important, especially to northern gardeners and those who want to respect their efforts to reinvigorate native landscapes. You want a plant that is known to survive your conditions (soils, moisture, low temps), and some want plants that are known to have naturally occurred in their area. Viburnum dentatum has an extremely wide range of natural occurrence (provenance); a glance at Hightshoe's text shows a distribution map shaded from Cape Cod MA down the east coast to northern FL, and along the Gulf coast to east TX. Interior areas shaded include most of those states bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, as well as minor areas in AR, MO, TN, KY, and OH. This map is just for V. dentatum. Varietas of V. dentatum and its allies (like V. molle, V. rafinesquianum, V. recognitum, and V. bracteatum) extend this range even further. You want to know these things when selecting plants for ND. The different clones of Viburnum dentatum come from many areas; no wonder they don't all bloom at the same time! This applies not only to my garden bloom times (I have about a dozen different V. dentatum), but to the difference in WHEN they bloom for me and when they'll bloom for you. For me, arrowwoods generally bloom in May-June; for you, that may be a month or more later. The SEQUENCE of identical plants' bloom times should remain constant, though. If in KY mine proceed from Cardinal to Indian Summer to Northern Burgundy to Autumn Jazz, then you should have the same order of bloom in ND.

NEXT: One of the viburnum threads over on Shrubs refers to several folks who will be again tracking bloom times this year, in order to help the GWers flailing about trying to match up some of their favorite fruiting plants. This will make life simpler in some respects (shouldn't be tough to have a start to finish list of all the clones' bloom times) but more confusing in others (seedlings, if not of known provenance, are going to be all over the place time-wise).

Are you still awake? Isn't this fun? My personal goal is to grow as many of all the viburnums as I can here in KY. Not just clones, but seedlings of known provenance too. Any that I learn to be invasive here will be eradicated, but there will still be many to permanently cultivate. These are great plants to look at, but also to learn from so that others can enjoy them successfully as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Viburnum dentatum and friends

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 1:28PM
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lesleynd(z3/4 ND)

Phew!!!!! Thanks a lot for all that info. Now I just have to digest it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 2:20PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and GW.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 6:35PM
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Viburnum Valley: Thanks so much. I think I have tried to digest it all, but having it written a few different ways/times has been helpful. Your description is great. Thanks to you, I think I'm just starting to understand the whole thing. I have no idea if I bought plants from seed though. It sounds like many nurseries would just as soon do plants from cuttings since they would be worth more faster. Am I right? I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens when summer comes.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 10:19PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

Vonyon: To know if you purchased seedlings or cutting-propagated plants, you have to ask, and the vendor has to know the answer or be willing to go find out. Good luck >:o(

Yes, plants from cuttings (vegetative propagation) is fastest and easiest most of the time. Also, plants that sell best are ones that are reliably reproducible (every finished item looks alike). This is difficult with seedlings, due to genetic variability. For better or worse, this is what most of the current market demands (like every Red Delicious apple). If customers weren't so d@mn picky...a healthy plant isn't necessarily a lollipop. Ask any young Gymnocladus or Ginkgo.

For nurserymen, commerce is what keeps them in business. Love doesn't always put food on the table, despite the romantic nature of plant reproduction ;o)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 7:55PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Another great Viburnum information thread that should not fall off the forum.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 11:10AM
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bump this one up. Too valuable to lose.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 8:47PM
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