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Viburnum lantanoides (Hobblebush)
Cressler, Alan

Viburnum lantanoides

Viburnum lantanoides Michx.


Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Synonym(s): Viburnum alnifolium, Viburnum grandifolium

USDA Symbol: VILA11

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A 6-12 ft., open, straggling shrub, often with pendulous outer branches which root where they touch the ground. Flat-topped clusters of white flowers have a lacy effect similar to some hydrangeas and contrast well with the medium green foliage. Berries change from red to blue. The fall foliage is usually bright red. This shrub has fragrant, flat-topped clusters of small, white flowers, the outer flowers larger than the inner ones.

This straggly shrub has beautiful bronze-red or purple- pin autumn coloration and is used by wildlife for food and cover. Its branches often bend and take root, tripping or "hobbling" passers-by; hence its common name.


From the Image Gallery

18 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 12 feet tall.
Leaf: Green.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Black, Green, Purple, Red.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Sometimes pinkish.


USA: CT , GA , MA , MD , ME , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , VA , VT , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Extreme n.e. OH to RI, n. to ME and Maritime; also s. through mts. to SC
Native Habitat: Rich, moist woods; stream banks; swamps

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist, gravelly or sandy, acid loams.
Conditions Comments: Arching branches root at tips. Transplants well.


Use Wildlife: Gamebirds, songbirds and mammals eat fruit; browsers eat twigs and leaves
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Spring Azure

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Spring Azure
(Celastrina "ladon" )

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Seed Collection: Collect the fruit as soon as it has turned a dark blue-black color. Store seeds with pulp on at 41 degrees.
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 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-10-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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