Blackhaw Viburnum, Viburnum prunifolium

Blackhaw Viburnum

Viburnum prunifolium

Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Clay, Loam
Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist, Medium
Color: White
Fragrance: Yes
Height: 12 - 15 feet
Spacing: 10 feet


Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) is a large, upright, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with an irregular crown, but it also may be grown as a small, single trunk tree. As a shrub, it typically grows 12-15 feet tall with a spread of 6-12 feet, but as a tree may reach a height of 30 feet. Commonly occurs in moist woods, thickets and on streambanks. Fragrant white flowers in flat-topped cymes (to 4.5 inch diameter) appear in spring.

The blooming period occurs from mid- to late spring. They flowers are produced at about the same time as the leaves. Each flower is replaced by a fleshy ovoid drupe about 1/3-inch long; this drupe becomes blue-black at maturity, sometimes with a whitish bloom. Inside each drupe, there is a single stone (a seed with a hard coat) that is flat on one side and convex on the other. The drupes are sweet and edible, although somewhat thin-fleshed because of their stones. The root system consists of a branching woody taproot.

Habitats include rich mesic woodlands, upland woodlands, thinly wooded bluffs, rocky wooded slopes, limestone glades, woodland borders, and areas along woodland paths. This species is found in deciduous woodlands, particularly where oaks are dominant.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prune immediately after flowering since flower buds form in summer for the following year. This shrub can assume somewhat irregular shapes, depending on lighting conditions.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Small specimen tree or large specimen shrub.
  Fruits used in jams and preserves.
  Tolerates drought.
Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries