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Mr. Smarty Plants - Failure of Viburnum dentatum to produce berries in Maryland

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Saturday - September 20, 2008

From: Silver Spring, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Shrubs
Title: Failure of Viburnum dentatum to produce berries in Maryland
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted several Viburnum dentatum shrubs in a hedgerow for my yard. Although I have some other viburnums in the yard, this shrub blooms profusely but does not ever produce berries. What can I do to encourage the berries? I have tons of pollinating insects, and everything else in the yard produces well.

ANSWER:

We got the following information from a Floridata website on Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood):

"You can expect arrow-wood to flower every spring, but you may not get many fruits if you have only one plant. Many viburnums exhibit self-incompatibility, which means that they cannot pollinate themselves. To get fruits, you need two different seedling plants - two vegetative clones of the same plant will not suffice."

We're not sure what you can do about this. If you purchased all your shrubs from a nursery at the same time, they are almost inevitably all clones. And since most commercially-sold woody plants are produced vegetatively, that is, by rooting cuttings or creating clones, you might have a lot of trouble finding a seed-produced plant to pollinate your viburnums. In fact, if they are all clones, even one seedling plant would probably not be sufficient, as the article says it takes two different seedling plants. Enjoy the flowers on your viburnums.


Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum dentatum

 

 

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