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Viburnum molle Michx.

Modern name

Viburnum molle Michx.


V. demetrionis Deane

A deciduous shrub of bushy habit, 6 to 12 ft high; young shoots glabrous and bright green at first, soon turning grey; older bark peeling. Leaves broadly ovate to roundish, 2 to 5 in. long, 134 to 334 in. wide, mostly heart-shaped at the base, slender-pointed, coarsely triangular toothed, the teeth twenty to thirty on each side, upper surface dark green and glabrous, paler and more or less downy beneath; stalk 12 to almost 2 in. long. Flowers white, all perfect, 14 in. across, produced in long-stalked cymes 2 to 4 in. wide. Fruits scarcely 12 in. long, oval, much compressed, blue-black.

Native of eastern-central North America, rare in gardens (the plant once grown as V. molle was a form of the V. dentatum complex). V. molle is very distinct from other American viburnums with blue-black fruits in the combination of the loose peeling bark of the older branches, the long-stalked leaves, and the presence of a pair of glandular-downy stipules on the petiole.

V. rafinesquianum Schultes V. villosum Raf., not Swartz; V. affine var. hypomalacum Blake – A shrub to about 8 ft high; bark not peeling. Leaves from narrow- to broad-ovate, acuminate or acute, truncate to slightly cordate at the base, with up to ten rather coarse teeth on each side, softly downy beneath. Petioles very short (rarely more than 14 in. long), usually furnished with stipules. Cymes to about 3 in. wide. Fruits blue-black, ellipsoid; stone flattened, shallowly grooved. Native of eastern N. America, sometimes cultivated for its scarlet autumn colouring. It has been confused with the downy form of V. dentatum (var. pubescens) but differs, among other characters, in the very shortly stalked leaves.

var. affine (Blake) House – Leaves more or less glabrous beneath.



Other species in the genus