765 Viburnum davidiiCommon Names: David viburnum Family: Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle Family)
David viburnum is a compact little evergreen shrub that grows in a dome shaped mound just 3-5 ft (0.9-1.5 m) tall and maybe a little wider. All viburnums have opposite leaves; this ones are elliptic, 3-6 in (7.6-15.2 cm) long, 1-2 in (2.5-5.1 cm) wide, and decorated with three very conspicuous, almost parallel veins. The leaves are dark glossy green above and paler beneath. The tiny flowers are white and arranged in cymes about 3 in (7.6 cm) across at the branch tips. (A cyme is a branched cluster of flowers in which the central flower opens first and the lateral flowers open in sequence, from the inside out. Cymes are usually rounded and either flat topped or domed.) The fruits are olive shaped bright metallic blue drupes that are about 1/4 in (0.6 cm) long. 'Femina' is a cultivar reported to be heavy fruiting and reliable.
David viburnum is native to the province of Sichuan in western China. It is a popular ornamental in Europe and the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.
CultureCross-pollination between two different clones is necessary for fruit set, and some nurseries offer "male" and "female" clones. Light: David viburnum does best in light shade. Afternoon shade may be necessary in hot climates. Moisture: David viburnum needs a reliable water supply. Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 - 9. David viburnum does best is moderate climates - not too hot in summer and not too cold in winter. It performs best in Zone 8, will sometimes get winter-damaged in Zone 7, and will suffer in Zone 9 summers. Propagation: David viburnum can be grown from seed sown in autumn and left outside all winter. Most viburnums, and this one is no exception, are dioecious, meaning that it takes two to tango. Fruits are produced only if two clones are present so that they can cross pollinate. David viburnum can be propagated vegetatively from semi-ripe tip shoots taken in summer, but plants produced this way will all be the same clone as the original.
David viburnum is useful in a mixed shrub border or woodland planting. The leathery leaves with their prominent deep veins provide refined texture in all seasons. Consider using this little evergreen shrub in masses for a striking ground cover. Use David viburnum in a hedge but avoid shearing them into tight right-angled cubes - that ruins their naturally beautiful for!
This is a beautiful little shrub: densely branched with thick evergreen foliage in a neat, compact dome that usually stays under 3 ft (0.9 m) tall yet spreads out to 5 ft (1.5 m) across. The flowers aren't very showy, but the fruits, if you're lucky enough to see them, are extremely attractive.
There are some 150 species of Viburnum, mostly in the northern hemisphere. Some are evergreen and some are deciduous and most are shrubs. Nearly all make handsome ornamentals like the evergreen leatherleaf viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum) and Prague viburnum (Viburnum x pragense). From the southeastern United States come two handsome deciduous viburnums arrow-wood (Viburnum dentatum) and rusty blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum)
Steve Christman 8/14/00; updated 1/2/04