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Viburnum macrocephalum Fort.

Modern name

Viburnum macrocephalum Fortune

A deciduous or partially evergreen shrub up to 12 or 20 ft high, forming a large rounded bush, the young shoots covered with a close scurf which, seen under the lens, is found to be minute stellate down. Leaves ovate, occasionally oval or oblong, rounded at the base, rounded or pointed at the apex, 2 to 4 in. long, 114 to 212 in. wide, dull green, and with scattered hairs above, covered with stellate down beneath; stalk 13 to 34 in. long. Flowers pure white, all sterile, 1 to 114 in. across, forming a huge, globular truss 3 to 6 in. wide opening in May.

This is Fortune’s type and was introduced by him from China in 1844. Being perfectly sterile, it has, of course, no place in nature, and is a purely garden plant, once distinguished as V. macrocephalum sterile but under modern rules should strictly be f. macrocephalum. It is the most striking, if not the most beautiful of viburnums, its truss exceeding in bulk that of any other species. Near London, it lives in a sheltered spot in the open, but is better on a wall, where a well grown plant makes a very fine display in May. Fortune saw it 20 ft high on the island of Chusan.

f. keteleeri (Carr.) Rehd. V. keteleeri Carr.; V. arborescens Hemsl. – This is the normal wild form, a native of China, and has only the marginal flowers of the showy, sterile kind, the small perfect ones filling the centre of the cyme, which is 3 to 5 in. across, and comparatively flat. It is somewhat hardier than the wholly sterile plant, but is now uncommon in gardens.

Viburnum macrocephalum

Viburnum macrocephalum



Other species in the genus