We’re often surprised that Viburnums are not more well known with gardeners. These stalwarts perform so well in so many different scenarios there is sure to be a variety that will suit your garden – the difficult part is choosing which one! At Paramount Plants, we source the best performing Viburnums for a range of aspects so that we can carefully consider the right plant for our customers.
Viburnums can be evergreen or deciduous flowering shrubs or small trees. Many are winter-flowering which can be an enormous aide to small birds and pollinators. Depending on the variety, they can be grown as ornamental shrubs, dense flowering hedging or even small trees. If its something more formal you are after, they can be trained as full standard trees. In other words, Viburnum is versatile. With over 150 species in the genus, let’s take a closer look at the merits of a few of the more popular varieties.
Viburnum burkwoodii is also known as Burkwood Viburnum. It will grow in full sun or part shade, producing gorgeous white blooms that are very fragrant. The fruits after flowering are red to black berries and these are loved by the birds. In the autumn the foliage will last. This is semi-evergreen, depending on how harsh the temperatures are but it will turn a lovely colour of orange and red in the autumn. Burkwood Viburnum will mature to around 6-10 feet high and wide although you can keep in check or in shape by pruning. Ideal as a cottage garden shrub.
Viburnum Tinus Eve Price – this little gem will tolerate windy conditions and is a perfect choice for coastal areas. It is an evergreen viburnum and will grow in sun and partial shade and has pretty clusters of pink flowers that turn white as the flowers mature. The buds and flowers are long lasting – eventually they develop into clusters of black berries around August, these are loved by the birds. This variety has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit – a sure sign it will perform well in most UK gardens. Eve Price has a compact dense evergreen foliage, Eve Price can be also be used for hedging and / or for shaping as clear stem standard trees.
Viburnum Opulus Compactum as the name suggests, this is the smaller version of Viburnum Opulus sometimes referred to as the cranberry bush. This is a deciduous viburnum. It can be grown in sun or partial shade. The flowers are a beautiful cluster of white but it is the showy berries that give this shrub its name, clusters of light green berries soon turn a deep red colour in late summer. These are adored by the birds, especially the finches and mistle thrush. This variety prefers a good moist soil and benefits from regular mulching. This viburnum variety is a good choice for London gardens as it tolerates heavy clay soil, while also being very wildlife friendly.
Viburnum Rhytidophyllum or Leatherleaf Viburnum is one of the larger evergreen viburnums, so choose this one if you have lots of space. It can also be used for hedging. Viburnum opulus Roseum or the Snowball Tree is one of the deciduous viburnum darlings – prized for its stunning fluffy white flowers. Viburnum x Juddii, another deciduous viburnum has a compact habit and is ideal for the smaller garden or where space may be restricted. Viburnum Tinus Gwenllian is an evergreen with pink flowers, one of the best viburnum all-rounders. Deciduous Viburnum Plicatum Tomentosum Mariesii is a hybrid that produces an abundance of white flowers around May – this is one of the best-selling in the genus. Viburnum Plicatum Kilimanjaro Sunrise was Plant of the Year 2015. Viburnum Carlesii Aurora, deciduous with excellent autumn colour. Two more evergreen varieties of note include Viburnum Davidii and Viburnum Cayuga with its maple-leaf type foliage.
What’s not to Like?
For sheer pay back, Viburnums are hard to match. They are one of the most popular landscape shrubs with over 150 species. Evergreen or decidouos, these floral gems work away, providing interest all year round, they will tolerate any aspect and are very easy to grow in any type of well-drained soil. There are varieties suitable for every corner of the garden and are easy to train as topiary trees and Viburnum Tinus Lucidum is a full standard for above fence screening. These fabulous trees are stunning for above fence or wall ‘stilt’ hedging and look beautiful when in bloom in early summer followed by beautiful blue berries. These trees work especially well when underplanted with contrasting shrubs such as red hued Japanese Acers or Photinia Red Robin. Their luscious, deep green, leathery leaves, pretty clusters of fragrant pink or white flowers and followed by a host of red, blue or black berries mean there is interest at almost every season and they are great for wildlife – birds love the clustering berries.
Paramount Plants & Gardens Ltd
131 Theobalds Park Road
London EN2 9BH
Tel: +44 (0)20 8367 8809