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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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Viburnum rufidulum (Rusty blackhaw viburnum)
Cox, Paul

Viburnum rufidulum

Viburnum rufidulum Raf.

Rusty blackhaw viburnum, Rusty blackhaw, Southern blackhaw, Downy viburnum

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Synonym(s): Viburnum prunifolium var. ferrugineum, Viburnum rufidulum var. margarettiae, Viburnum rufotomentosum

USDA Symbol: VIRU

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This viburnum is a shrub or tree, usually growing to 18 ft. but sometimes taller with bark separating into dark, rectangular plates. Twigs reddish brown with a thin light gray coating. Leaves in pairs, often on short spurs, the petioles covered with rust colored, branched hairs visible under a l0x hand lens; blades up to 3 1/2 inches long, elliptic to oval or ovate, tip rounded or with a broad point, base rounded or broadly wedge shaped, margins finely serrate, firm textured with a shiny upper surface. Glossy, dark-green, deciduous leaves turn a variety of warm hues in autumn. Flowers white, from 1/4 to 3/8 inch wide, in rounded or flattened clusters up to 4 inches wide, appearing in March and April and noticeable from a distance in early spring. Fruit fleshy, bluish black lightened by a waxy coating, up to 1/2 inch long, slightly longer than wide.

Rusty Blackhaw is distinguished from the more northerly Blackhaw, Viburnum prunifolium, primarily by the reddish-brown hairs on foliage and other parts, as well as by the slightly larger leaves and paler blue fruit. The Latin species name, meaning reddish, also refers to the hairs. The two species intergrade where their ranges meet.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic
Size Notes: 15-25
Fruit:
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MO , MS , NC , OH , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: VA to s. OH, s. IN, s. IL & MO, s., except in mts., to FL & TX
Native Habitat: Thickets, Open woodlands, Stream, river banks. Dry, rocky woods; thickets; stream banks. Open woodlands from East to Central Texas. Well-drained sand, loam, clay.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Slow-growing. Hard to propagate. With its waxy leaves, rusty blackhaw presents excellent fall hues of red, lavender, pink, and orange. Tiny clusters of flowers bloom in spring. In Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas, Correll and Johnston noted that the fruit tastes similar to raisins. Rusty blackhaw is good for understory plantings. Birds appreciate the fruit.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Showy, Understory tree, Fall conspicuous, Attractive
Use Wildlife: Nectar-bees, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-insects, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Viburnums are most often propagated from semi-hardwood cuttings taken in the fall. These should be woody at the base or taken with a heel. Rooting is slow.
Seed Collection: Collect the fruit as soon as it has turned a dark blue-black color. Store seeds with pulp on at 41 degrees.
Seed Treatment: If seeds must be stored, they will need a period of stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Edible Plants for North Georgia
January 10, 2010
We are planning a forest food garden in the hollers of the N GA Mountains. Which edible fruit, nut, berry, herb and creepers would be best for this reddish, clay-like soil? The food garden is in...
view the full question and answer

Native alternative for Japanese Red Maple in Oklahoma
October 12, 2009
Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for a native alternative to a Japanese Red Maple. I would like a small tree that I can put in my front garden that will not pose a security risk my being overgrown and ...
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Plants for wildlife and trees for shade.
September 29, 2007
We live in Kempner Texas, our land has mostly cedar trees. We would like to make a wildlife habitat on the back side of our property. Can you recommend plants that will grow in shade to partial sun,...
view the full question and answer

Variety of native tall plants for a screen in shady area near Ft. Worth
June 12, 2007
Hello, we live west of Ft Worth. We are looking for tall plants to form a visual screen along a chain link fence we share with a neighbor. We have post oaks there and it is very shady and the ground ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Sandankwa viburnum (Viburnum suspensum) damaged by freeze
April 16, 2006
We live in Georgetown. My Sandankwa Viburnum seem to have been affected by the late freeze. There are now very few leaves and no flowers/buds. Should I cut the plants back, leave them alone, or giv...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: UPL FACU UPL FACU FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Hill Country Natives - Leander, TX

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
Texas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter - Bastrop, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0718 Collected Mar 27,1994 in Comal County by Mary Beth White

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Bibliography

Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Viburnum rufidulum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Viburnum rufidulum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Viburnum rufidulum

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-09-07
Research By: LAL

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