Viburnum plicatum tomentosum fruiting

newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)July 16, 2003

So far, I have stayed away from this family of Viburnums, concentrating on my Arrowoods and Lindens for their fruiting. Anyone who reads lots of Garden Web knows how that has been going for me. I am now wondering if I add Viburnums from the Doublefile family, if that would add to or extend the fruiting time so that the backyard birds always have some fruits. Besides, this family seems to have very showy flowers. I like the Viburnums I have but I can't say that the flowers are that showy individually , although they look great in mass. Also, no fall color in my Arrowwoods and I am not sure of the Lindens yet. Fall color is one of the reasons I went with the Winterthur (the most gorgeous shrub I have in my garden). Striking green leaves and full shape. Anyway...

So, I am gathering information because I know nothing about this family of Viburnums what-so-ever. Is there a particular Cultivar that is self fruitful? I figure the plant two different clones advise applies here too! I want ones that fruit, the more heavily the better. I do not want to plant a sterile variety of Viburnum in my yard. I have learned so much about Viburnums in general from many of the Viburnum threads both here and on the shrub forum. The old post called 'Why don't my Viburnums have/keep Berries?' got me started and the Viburnum blather and both Viburnum dilatatum and Viburnum dentatum friends added to the great information available here. I do wish that after I learned that I had to get two different clones of a particular family of Viburnums for fruit set, that I had known to try and get them from the same source so that they would bloom together. Who would have thought about so many variables in bloom times! I digress again.

So lets get this thread going specifically about Viburnum plicatum variety tomentosum. I believe there are sterile clones of this variety or perhaps sterile clones of plain plicatum. Want to stay away from those. Any advice for me? Don't want to repeat the mistakes I made with my Arrowoods!!!!!!!!

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jillhudock(z7 PA)

Here is some info I found, I do not have this particular Viburnum, since I am sticking to the natives.

A host of other invasive species as a group significantly reduce biodiversity in the Crum Woods, and any one might be on the verge of graduating to the status of severe problem species. They include:

doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum)

THE GOOD NEWS:This deciduous shrub won't thrive everywhere, but given the right location, doublefile viburnum is a landscape standout.

In late spring, Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum produces masses of white flowers along horizontal branches. The resulting display can be absolutely outstanding, with the blossoms seemingly floating on air above the foliage. Pink-flowering varieties are also available.

In summer, masses of ornamental fruits emerge. The red drupes ripen to black and are favored by birds. In fall, dark-green leaves change to nice reddish purple -- yet another exceptional ornamental characteristic of the plant.

Doublefile's only downfall is that it requires moist, well-drained soils and suffers in clay and areas subject to drought. It will also display leaf yellowing in regions with hot summers, so it's not the best plant for the South.

But in most areas in the Midwest and Northeast it will perform extremely well, and it's hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 5.

Easy to propagate

Doublefile is easy to grow and there are many good varieties. It "roots like a weed," said Joe Kiefer, owner of Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden, a garden center/grower/mail-order facility in Franklinville, N.J.

He propagates cultivars when he can't purchase them elsewhere and has great success rooting softwood cuttings. He uses a low rate of rooting hormone and wounds the cuttings.


Here are some of Kiefer's best sellers.

'Shasta.' Introduced by U.S. National Arboretum in 1979. A previous Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal winner, it produces large, pure-white flowers, is a good fruit producer and has dependable good fall color. It grows about 6 feet high and 10-12 feet wide. It probably has the most name recognition among consumers.

'Mariesii.' An older selection, made in the 1800s. Flowers are produced well above the foliage, making them highly visible. It can reach 10 feet high with age.

'Shoshoni.' A seedling of 'Shasta,' and similar but more diminutive in size. It reaches just 5 feet high and 8 feet wide.

'Summer Snowflake.' A compact selection, typically reaching just 4-6 feet high. It also has a long blooming period.

'Igloo.' A wide-spreading plant (6 feet high and 12 feet wide) with flat, 4- to 5-inch flowers.


white, in early May, atop 2" long peduncles above the angled stem plane and also in a "double file" on either side of the stem, effective for two weeks
flat-topped fertile inflorescences are creamy-white, to 3" in diameter, and open shortly after the more showy outer ring of sterile flowers open first; one of the most showy shrubs when in flower
pollination (and subsequent heavy fruit set) might be encouraged by planting two or more different cultivars of the fertile variety tomentosum in close proximity

shrubs often do not set fruit due to a lack of appropriate cross-pollination, but when fruits do occur, they transition from green to pink-orange-red in mid-Summer, mature to black by September, and then either abscise or are consumed by the birds
if fruits have been borne, the red pedicels and peduncles persist into Autumn, and are very attractive against the dark green foliage, or sometimes after the foliage has abscised (similar in ornamental appeal as with Gray Dogwood [Cornus racemosa])

Also, resistant to deer.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2003 at 5:15PM
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Mine are small so no fruit yet. I have Shasta which should have fruit someday and Summer Snowflake which, I am told, may not fruit at all. I'm not sure Mariesii will set fruit either. I've read some posts from people saying it doesn't, but maybe they just need something to polinate it. I think Shoshoni and Shasta would be your best choices based on the research I've done, not experience.
I've seen some fruiting here but I don't know what kind they are. Right now most of the berries are red with a few that have turned black already. The fruit is visible but not extremely showy because the shrubs are fully leafed out. I was hoping when mine mature, they would still have red berries on them after leaf drop but now thinking they probably won't after seeing these others with berries turning black already in July.
The pictures I've seen of these flowering are so pretty. I like the horizontal branching habit.
That's the first I've heard about them being invasive. Has anyone had trouble with them reseeding?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2003 at 10:30PM
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Shasta, Shoshoni, Mariesii, and Pink Beauty are good fruiters for me. Others I have are too small to flower. They are all beautiful multi-season performers.

I am surprised you have no fall color in your V. dentatum! The only cultivar I have that doesn't color well is 'Chicago Lustre'. You should be getting excellent fall color. You might look for V. molle or V. deamii to add to your V. dentatums. Wonderful shrubs that will cross pollinate.

As for beautiful flowers, V. sargentii 'Onondaga' has an exceptional show, and fruits so heavily the branches bend. V. sieboldii is also striking in flower, and fruit, as the pedicels are bright red. 'Seneca' is a cultivar that holds its fruit till very late winter.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2003 at 1:31PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Thanks everyone for the information on the Doublefile Viburnums.

Kevin- I seem to have the oddest Arrowwood Viburnum. They flower at weird times, certainly not when everyone elses do, so why should they behave themselves and get fall color???? On another note, do I need another clone to get the fruit on the 'Onondaga' or is it one of the very few that does not need another polinator? I must admit that is another Viburnum I, again, know nothing about!!!

As to the Doublefiles, yesterday I went out to my very favorite Long Island Nursery and picked up a nice sized 'Shasta' already with rows of tiny red fruit. I like the looks of the fruit, although it seems to me to be small compaired to the fruits of other families of Viburnums. I really was not looking for any doublefiles but there they were and I just couldn't pass up the shrub in fruit.

I knew I needed another one and after asking about polinators and telling them I wanted no Viburnums in my yard that do not set fruit, I bought a 'Popcorn' because the lady raved about the flowers and how heavily it flowered. I just looked up 'Popcorn' on the internet and it said it was a sterile form, no fruit. Just great. Being sarcastic here. I have this woman taking me all around the nursery showing me shrubs that produce bird attracting fruit. I pick the one 'Shasta' I bought because it was already in fruit. Her and I even talked about the fact that I have instant fruit by getting that plant, no waiting. So, I don't know what to do. Will the 'Popcorn' at least pollinate the 'Shasta'? I am not sure if I should take it back or what. I was so happy yesterday after I got home from the nursery and I am so bummed out today. Its a REALLY long trip out to the end of Long Island from here to go to that nursery and I wasn't going to go back for weeks until the fall season or if I got lazy planting, maybe not at all this season.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2003 at 1:30PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

So I know from personal experience that the nice red berries on the Shasta do attract birds because this morning the Catbird was eating the berries. First it sat in the Butterfly bush near were I planted the new Shasta and just looked at it. I am sure the bird must have been wondering were this shrub magicly came from as it was not there afew days ago!. Anyway, after checking things out to a Catbirds satisfaction, it went into the shrub, ate a berry, hopped down to the ground and looked up at the shrub and berries, then back up into the berries and ate some more. A new shrub, new berries, and a satisfied customer!!!

They had 'Mariesii' at the nursery I was at today but that one grows too big for were I have in mind so I will just keep looking. Some of them were the extra large size, as tall as I am right now, but still they had very little fruit set on them. Don't know if its because of lack of polination, or stress from being in a container, or just not a really great fruiter. Anyway, they were way too expensive for me.

So, it did not take me long to find a home for the 'Shasta' but the 'Popcorn' is still sitting there since I don't know what to do with it.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 2:34PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I was at a local nursery yesterday that I hadn't visited yet this year and saw the most lovely Shastas in large, large sizes and even larger bagged and burlapped sizes. All had lots of berries and were too expensive for me right now. Besides I can see what my Shasta will grow into in a few years. They also had Mariesii but those were even larger than the largest of the Shastas, and more expensive. No berries on the Mariesii, so I wonder how large it has to get before it fruits.

The Viburnums with the most fruit I saw yesterday were 'Wentworth', which has nothing to do with the Doublefile thread. I just had to mention them because I was ammazed at the ammount of fruit on those shrubs!

I think my chances of finding anything other than these two in a Doublefile locally are slim to none.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2003 at 12:22PM
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I see 'Summer Snowflake' a LOT now at Wal-Mart and Lowe's. I'm not sure you'd ever get berries on it but maybe since it flowers a long time, it would work well to pollinate your other doublefiles and you might get lucky and find one marked down this time of year.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2003 at 12:28PM
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'Onondaga' will do fine with your V. trilobums as cross pollinators.

Fairweather has 'Shoshoni' in their fall catalog if I recall correctly. Its a small version of 'Shasta'--should work great for you. It flowers/fruits heavily, and looks fantastic.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2003 at 9:32PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I am going to wait until spring to mail order. Then I intend to get 'Shoshoni' and 'Igloo' another variety that was in the Fairweather Spring Catalog. Hopefully they will have it again next Spring.

I did get my Fall Fairweather Catalog but they don't have as much as they had in the Spring.

The berries on the 'Shasta' are all gone, courtesy of the Catbird.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2003 at 3:25PM
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wkendwarrior(6/7 LI)

Rita, I'm looking for info too - I hope you don't mind if I ask a question in your thread?
We have a front garden planted with hollies and the doublefile "Shasta" planted with V. dentatum 'Blue Muffin' and V. x burkwoodii. In our other garden (about 40 ft away) we're planning to plant my potted V. carlesii and V x burkwoodii, as well as V. tomentosa 'Pink Beauty' and if we can find a few, V. trilobum.

So far no berries on anybody.

Any "best bet" suggestions for overlapping bloom time and getting berries on the doublefiles?



    Bookmark   August 28, 2003 at 12:51PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I consider this the Viburnum plicatum tomentosum thread and am happy to see others jumping in.

Wasn't there something on another thread somewhere about 'Pink Beauty' not flowering at the same time as 'Shasta'????

    Bookmark   August 28, 2003 at 2:11PM
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I am interested to know if you are familiar with a V. plicatum tomentosum that flowers as late as the end of August/early September. I saw one in someone's front yard and can't seem to find out what it is. The leaves are oval and a wonderful deep green, the "tree" the size/shape of a magnolia and prolific white/cream flowers that look like other toms except are in elongated clusters ( shape of wisteria) Just wonderful and I want one and hope you can help me identify.

In my web search I saw V P T "summer snowflake" and wonder if that is it. Many say late or long blooming but don't say what they mean by that

Can you help ?

Thanks Z 4

    Bookmark   September 3, 2003 at 12:46PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

Z 4: You are probably seeing a Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora', not a viburnum. Viburnums do not have elongated clusters, shaped like wisteria, for flowers. V.p.t. 'Summer Snowflake' is a repeat bloomer, and could be blooming now, but it has flat white flower heads with showy florets ringing the fertile flower mass in the center. Not elongated clusters, sorry.

PG hydrangea is still a great plant, though.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2003 at 5:36PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

My Fairweather Gardens Catalog Came and they have all sorts of V. plicatum tomentosum Cultivars listed including the type 'Popcorn' that I got locally. They say it sets fruit like 'Shasta'. Now I am confused because it waas sold to me as a fruit setter but I looked it up on the internet and it said it was a sterile type. I tried to search again after reading in the Fairweather garden catalog but this time I couldn't get anything mentioning 'Popcorn' to come up!!!

Did notice one that sounded really great, 'Summer Stars' as a repeat bloomer that is supposed to set fruit in the fall. Are they mixed up and this one is sterile or is this a fruiting variety? They also list 'Watanabe' as a repeat bloomer and that it fruits. Do I want to add these too my garden??? Only if they fruit so I wondered if anyone was growing any of the three I just mentioned.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2003 at 3:15PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

OPPS!!!! I MENT to say my ForestFarm Catalog came.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2003 at 4:29PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

Rita, you keep running into these speed bumps with your never-ending viburnum passion. Have you bought yourself a textbook yet?

I think this topic came up under a thread discussing sterile clones vs. fruiting species, or something confusing like that. There are few viburnums that won't fruit, but you've come across one of them.

Viburnum plicatum, Japanese snowball viburnum, is a non-fruiting plant with sterile rounded flowers. It just is.

Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum, Doublefile viburnum, has flat-topped flowers and can set fruit, if you have two non-clones that have overlapping bloom times. They just do.

There are more scientific ways of saying the above, but I'm not going to waste my time. Look it up, whoever isn't satisfied by that.

Popcorn is a V. plicatum, and it behaves that way in my garden. There several more that are common in the trade, including Mary Milton, Newport, Roseace/Kern's Pink, and Triumph.

Doublefiles include Mariesii, Shasta, Shoshoni, Pink Beauty, Igloo, Lanarth, Watanabei/Summer Snowflake/Fujisanensis, and they're naming more of these everyday.

Dirr drops Popcorn under V.p.t., but that was his 1998 edition and this is a brand new plant. He'd be the first to tell you if he errs. Popcorn was hybridized by Dr. David Leach; this plant is being produced by Spring Meadow Nursery out of MI, and they are nothing if not consummate promoters of every ornamental quality of their plants. They don't mention fruit on Popcorn, and they list it as Viburnum plicatum. Do your Google search with Viburnum plicatum Popcorn, and you'll get all kinds of hits.

Isn't this fun?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2003 at 6:34PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Thanks, ViburnumValley, for explaining the difference between the Viburnum plicatum tomentosum and plain Viburnum plicatum so well.

As far as the speed bumps go, well, my yard has never looked better. Speed bumps and all!!! :-)))

I figgure the list of Doublefiles might help WKendWarrior on best bet suggestions for overlapping bloom time and getting berries on the doublefiles. I think that post on here might have gotten lost in the shuffle of my never ending Doublefile Viburnum laments about my 'Shasta' and 'Popcorn'.

I know for myself that I am definitely going for the 'Shoshoni' in the Spring. I was going to get 'Igloo' too but after re-reading the description in the Fairweather Catalog about how wide it gets, I decided to skip it.

Anyone growing 'Watanabi', 'Summer Stars', or 'Summer Snowflake'? I am wondering if they are good on the fruit set?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2003 at 12:47PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I did order some shrubs this fall so I also ordered the 'Shoshoni' I had wanted. So, if it blooms next spring, I will be all set for berries on both it and my 'Shasta'. Can't wait.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2003 at 1:44PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Plotting Spring planting during the cold weather here. The 'Shoshoni' is just temporily put in my veggie garden for the winter and I am still thinking of were I will put it in the Spring. Hope its big enough to set a few flower buds as the 'Shasta' I have will deffinately flower and I want bird berries!!!!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2004 at 1:55PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Well, I moved the 'Shoshoni' from the veggie garden to over near the 'Shasta'. They are both just starting to break leaf buds. I really hope for flowers from the 'Shoshoni' as I am shure the 'Shasta' will flower as it did last year. My 'Popcorn' spent the winter in the pot stuck up by the side of the house touching the foundation. I still need to get it planted but at least I have it's spot picked out. I hope it flowers as it did not last year.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 7:00PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Just read about a new V. tomentosum. This is copied from the Spring Meadow website. Sure sounds interesting.

p. tomentosum FireworksÂ
A cool new slection of doublefile viburnum we obtained from Herman Losely & Sons nursery in Perry, Ohio. After just one year in our test garden we knew we had a winner. This plant has bright red flower pedicels that give a whole new look to the species. Compact growth and lots of flowers. Developed by noted plant breeder David Leech.
Zone 5, 5-8 feet, gr 1, Full Sun Partial Shade

    Bookmark   April 15, 2004 at 4:08PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

It figgures! The 'Shoshoni' does not have any flower buds. The 'Shasta' has plenty but I bought it with fruit last year so no surprise that it flowers this year.

The 'Popcorn' rewarded me for neglecting it by leaving it sit in its nursery pot all winter by setting all of one flower cluster. Now I have to hope that one flower cluster can pollinate my 'Shasta' as I have nothing else that could do it.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 6:41PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I got some fruit set on the Shasta just pollinated by the Popcorn. Next year, hopefully, the Shosoni will blossom too.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2004 at 5:59PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I can't believe how much my Shasta has grown and filled out this year!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2004 at 12:18PM
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I have a Viburnum p.t. 'Lanarth' which came from the Arnold Arboretum in the 1970's.
Very much like 'Maresii' except for more layered, horizontal branching. And tough as nails.
Usually no red fruit, but this spring I set a pot of V. sargentii 'Onondaga' next to it.
Voila, red berries all over !

    Bookmark   November 11, 2004 at 12:46AM
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I have a shoshoni. To fruit, it needs a non-clone to cross pollinate. How do I know that my next shoshoni is not a clone? Do I have to get a non-shoshoni cultivar instead?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2004 at 10:27AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

You need another V. plicatum tomentosum like Shasta but NOT another Shoshoni. Both my Shasta and Shoshoni are going to have lots of flower buds this spring which is great as I didn't get much fruit on the Shasta last year as the Shoshoni did not flower last year.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 10:24PM
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Newyorkrita- thank you very much for the information.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 3:22PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

My Popcorn is still flowering like crazy, I must reluctantly admit that the flowers are MUCH prettier than those on the Shasta and Shoshoni. Both the Shasta and Shoshoni have had their large outside flowers open for awhile and the smaller inside flowers that make the berries are just beginning to open today.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 3:54PM
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Allshade(z6 MA)

I always love your threads, Rita; lots of great info.

I put in a shasta last year; last spring it had two flowers, and this spring it just has the two flowers again. I can understand no berries, as I need a second shrub, but why just the two flowers? Otherwise it looks very healthy and happy. Still young? It is a decent size plant, 2'x3' or so.

Not enough sun? It is in a high shade, filtered sun location.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 4:49PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

My Shasta is going to flower HEAVILY for the first time this year. I can't believe how big its gotten too. Shoshoni has flower clusters too so hopefully there should be lots of fruit. I was dissapointed with fruit set last year as there were not tons of flowers on Shasta and Shoshoni but this year should be different.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 6:52PM
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mary4b(4b WI)

Rita, I've followed your old thread here with great interest.
I'm wondering what happened to your popcorn and whether you still think it has prettier flowers than the shasta and shoshoni?
How big have your shrubs become?
I'm trying to figure out which ones I can grow here in zone4b and I'm new to viburnums, so the whole pollination deal is rather daunting. Your thread helped me a lot, thank you for documenting your journey!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 7:47AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Actually POPCORN is flowering now. It always gets my attention in flowqer because of the huge white flower clusters. Since my other viburnums were all selected for fruit production they look good flowering but not as showey as POPCORN.

Shoshoni started flowering heavily as it added afew more years, it just needed to grow up some. Shasta always flowers heavily now and both set fruit for me each year. Shasta is about 7 feet and Shoshoni about 5 feet tall. I don't know about wide because if they get too wide, I just prune back some branches.

Over all, I am very glad that I planted all three of them and here they stay.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 12:01PM
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I was actually wondering if a Viburnum plicatum v. plicatum would cross-pollinate a plicatum v. tomentosum? This of course hinges on my tomentosum mariesii actually having more than 2 flowers for a change...

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 6:14PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)


Viburnum plicatum f. plicatum is, by definition, a sterile plant. It forms snowball inflorescences comprised of sterile florets - no reproductive parts.

V. plicatum f. tomentosum is the fertile species, with lacecap style inflorescences comprised of the fertile flowers in the center surrounded by the sterile florets on the perimeter.

If you have 'Mariesii', then get one of the other clones of V. p. t. to be a partner.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:19PM
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