Viburnum plicatum Popcorn commonly known as Japanese Snowball Popcorn, is a highly-decorative, deciduous shrub, prized for its unusual spring bloom. With multiple seasons of interest and good constitution, this cultivar is an excellent shrub for use as a specimen plant or mixed shrub borders.
Similar as its close Viburnum relatives, Japanese Snowball Popcorn is a deciduous shrub with an upright habit, with stems that branch in layers, producing an attractive tiered effect. The distinct quality of this variety are its striking popcorn-shaped flowers that appear in the spring, completely enveloping the shrub. Creamy white to ivory, the miniature blossoms are borne in spherical clusters. The foliage of the variety is quite lovely, too, with toothed, veined leaves that offer texture for the better part of the year. Dark green, the foliage turns to vivid shades of red, purple and deep burgundy in the autumn.
Easy to grow and to care for, Japanese Snowball Popcorn tolerates a wide range of soil types. To ensure best performance, plant it in a loamy, well-drained soil in full sun to dappled shade. Rarely bothered by any serious pests and disease, heat and drought tolerant, this variety is quire resilient. Its dependable performance in the garden, as well as its attractive look, earned this flowering shrub the Award of Garden Merit by Royal Horticultural Society.
A Japanese native, Viburnum plicatum Popcorn is fully hardy in the United Kingdom. This ornamental shrub is not bothered by frosts and thrives in both sheltered and exposed spots in the garden. With an average growth rate, this cultivar can achieve a maximum size of up to 2.5 metres in height, and 2 metres in width. Its fairly compact size in maturity makes it a great candidate for small gardens.
Elegant, tiered habit, profusion of spring blooms and dense foliage make Viburnum plicatum Popcorn one of the most sought-after varieties of Viburnum. Ideally suited to be grown as a focus of interest in the garden, where its eye-catching features can be fully appreciated, this flowering shrub can be used in mixed shrub borders as well. Pair it with striking Hydrangea Macrophylla varieties in contrasting colours, such as Hydrangea Macrophylla Hopcorn Blue, Hydrangea Macrophylla Dark Angel or Hydrangea Macrophylla Hobella Pink, for a dramatic floral display.