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Viburnum opulus Roseum is more commonly called the Snowball Tree, and with good reason, as its outstanding characteristic is the large, white, fluffy blooms that cover this large shrub every spring. It has the RHS Award of Garden Merit because of its desirability for UK gardens.
The snowball tree was known in the 16th century as Sambucus Rose, already prized by gardeners for its beautiful blooms. Starting in early May, the snowball tree is covered in large lime-green flower clusters 6 cm across. They change to a creamy green, then to pure white, and finally turn a light pink before they fade in June. The blossoms also make excellent cut flowers, which will last up to 2 weeks once cut. As the Viburnum Opulus Roseum cultivar’s flowers are sterile, there are no fruits to follow. The maple-shaped leaves, a fresh green colour through the spring and summer, turn purple in the autumn, adding late-season interest.
Hardy to H6, in otherwords throughout all of the UK, Viburnum Opulus Roseum grows to a mature height and spread of 2.5 – 4 metres over a period of 5 – 10 years. Space them 4 metres apart if you are planting more than one. Once established, you can prune it after flowering in the early summer, either by removing spent flowers or by cutting out weaker stems to the base.
Plant your snowball tree in full sun or part shade, in well-drained sand, loam, chalk or clay soil. It will tolerate acid, neutral, or alkaline soil. It can thrive in a sheltered or exposed location.
Viburnum opulus Roseum is a spectacular garden accent when in bloom in the spring, so make the most of it! A hedge of flowering snowball trees will be a highlight of the garden for the duration of the blooms. Later in the autumn, the purple leaves will again contribute visual interest, and in between the leafy hedge will be an excellent privacy screen for your garden.
You can also plant one Viburnum opulus Roseum as a specimen plant in the middle of your lawn, where it will be the focus of attention. As well, one or more would make an effective foundation planting against a high wall, where they would combine with spring-flowering bulbs and perennials to create a lovely picture.
The snowball tree has been a favoured garden shrub for centuries, because of the stunning beauty of its spring blooms. Bring this beauty home to your own garden with one or more of our Viburnum opulus Roseum plants.