Blackhaw Viburnum (V. prunifolium)

The rounded, stiffly branched habit of Blackhaw viburnum reminds you of a Hawthorn. Other common names are Sloe, sloe-leaved viburnum, stagbush, shonny. It can be grown as a small tree because plants attain a height of 12 to 14 feet. The dark green, glossy, leathery leaves turn a dark reddish to purple in the fall. Creamy white flowers are borne in flat-topped flower clusters during May. The fruit turns blue-black at maturity. The fruit, which is sweet and edible, is nearly half an inch long, bluish black, covered with a bloom, and ripens in early autumn. It contains a small and somewhat flattened stone. The mature fruit make good preserves. The leaves are small enough that they don't pose a raking and cleaning problem. Birds frequent this shrub for feed and shelter. Plants are native and tolerate shade but flower and fruit best in full sun.Habitat and range.The blackhaw occurs in dry woods and thickets and on rocky hillsides from Connecticut to Florida and west to Michigan and Texas, but is mostly found in the South. On our plant durability list, we rate this a 9 for ease of transplanting and site adaptability. There are also few serious pests that homeowners need to concern themselves with. We have seedling, transplants, and B&B plant to 4'.

Blackhaw viburnum grows in woods and thickets in moist or dry soil. Blackhaw viburnum can be a round-headed tree or multi-stemmed shrub. This plant is described as having a handsomely coarse aspect in winter. The late fall color is variable from plant to plant, from purplish, reddish purple, bronze, dull deep red to shining red. The flowers can have so many yellow stamens that they appear creamy rather than white. Although it will tolerate some sun, blackhaw viburnum is best used as a medium understory or edge-of-the-woods shrub. In the landscape this plant can adapt well to locations that don't get full sun such as a shaded side yard that needs a border or screen. Clay soils that are moist can be planted with this plant. This plant is hardy to zone three.

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