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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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Viburnum obovatum (Small-leaf arrowwood)
Cressler, Alan

Viburnum obovatum

Viburnum obovatum Walter

Small-leaf arrowwood, Walter's viburnum

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Synonym(s): Viburnum nashii

USDA Symbol: viob

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A shrub or small tree to 18 ft. Leaves are wedge-shaped, tapered at the base, and may remain on the tree in mild winters. White flowers appear while the leaves develop and are followed by red fruits which later become shiny black. Evergreen shrub or small tree with a few trunks; broad, spreading crown; small, white flowers; and small, shiny black fruit.

The name Walters Viburnum honors Thomas Walter (1740-89), English-born planter of South Carolina, who described this species in his Flora Caroliniana. The Latin species name refers to the leaf shape. Birds consume quantities of the fruit.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr


USA: AL , FL , GA , SC
Native Distribution: Coastal plain from SC to AL
Native Habitat: Hammocks; thickets; swamp margins

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Variable. Usually moist, or seasonally moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


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

National Wetland Indicator Status

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 Organizations Directory

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

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

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Research Literature

Reslit 1223 - Postestablishment landscape performance of Florida native and exotic shrubs under irrigated and nonirrigated conditions (2008) S. M. Scheiber, E. F. Gilman, D. R. Sandrock, M. P...
Reslit 1270 - Host status of woody ornamental plants native to Southeastern USA to three Meloidogyne species (2005) J. Sharma and J. R. Rich
Reslit 1533 - Container and field evaluation of three native shrubs grown in compost-based media (2006) S. B. Wilson, L. K. Mecca, H. E. Danielson, D. A. ...

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2014-09-05
Research By: TWC Staff

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