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Viburnum acerifolium L.


Modern name

Viburnum acerifolium L.

A deciduous bush 3 to 6 ft high; young branches at first softly downy, becoming glabrous. Leaves maple-like, three-lobed, the side lobes with divergent, slender points, all coarsely toothed, 112 to 4 in. long and about the same wide; rounded or heart-shaped at the base, with scattered down above, softly downy (especially at first) and covered with black dots beneath; stalk 12 to 1 in. long, downy. Flowers white, 15 in. in diameter, uniform and all fertile, produced during June in terminal, long-stalked cymes 2 to 3 in. across. Fruits first red, then purple-black, oval, 13 in. long.

Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1736. Although one of the earliest introduced of American viburnums this is now very scarce in gardens; it has little beauty of flower, but is attractive in autumn for its crimson foliage. I have seen it growing along the roadsides in New Hampshire just as V. opulus does at home, but never so vigorous a shrub.

V. orientale Pall. – A native of the western Caucasus and Asia Minor, this is closely allied to V. acerifolium, but can always be distinguished by the absence of the minute black dots beneath the leaf so characteristic of the American species. It is not so downy, the hairs beneath being almost confined to the vein-axils; otherwise very similar. Rare in gardens.



Other species in the genus