Viburnum odoratissimum, commonly known as sweet viburnum, is an shrub or small tree in the family Adoxaceae. It is native to Asia, and commonly cultivated as a garden ornamental elsewhere.
It grows to 9 metres high and has glossy elliptical leaves to 20 cm long. In spring it produces pyramid-shaped clusters of fragrant white flowers, followed by red berries that age to black.
Distribution and habitat
The species is native to China, Taiwan, Japan, the Himalayan region in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
V. odoratissimum var. awabuki is native to Taiwan and Japan.
The species prefers warm frost free climates.
Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-9 where it is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best growth occurs with consistent and even moisture. This is an evergreen shrub, but it tends to be semi-evergreen to deciduous near the far northern edge of its growing range. Plants generally appreciate some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. If growth is attempted in USDA Zone 6, plants should be sited in protected locations and given a good winter mulch.
Viburnum odoratissimum, commonly called sweet viburnum, is an evergreen shrub or small tree that grows to as much as 20' tall. It is native from the Himalayas to Japan. Common name is in obvious reference to its fragrant funnel-shaped white flowers which bloom in conical terminal panicles (to 3-6" long) in late spring to early summer. Flowers give way to single-seeded red fruits (drupes) which mature to black. Fruits are attractive to birds. Thick, leathery, elliptic-ovate olive green leaves (to 3-8" long) are evergreen.
Var. awabuki is native to Taiwan and Japan. It grows to a slightly more compact 12' tall on stems clad with large, ovate-lanceolate leaves with extremely glossy upper surfaces (leaves of V. odoratissimum are generally dull green with little gloss).
No serious insect or disease problems. Potential disease problems include bacterial leaf spot, mildews and crown gall. Potential insect problems include aphids and scale.
Broadleaf evergreen shrub for informal hedges, screens, barriers, foundations, borders or open woodland areas. Fragrant late spring flowers, fall fruit and evergreen foliage make this an interesting and attractive landscape shrub.