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Viburnum lentago (Nannyberry)
Reveal, James L.

Viburnum lentago

Viburnum lentago L.

Nannyberry, Blackhaw, Sweet Viburnum, Sheepberry

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Synonym(s): Viburnum ×vetteri


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

A tall viburnum, occasionally growing as a small tree, 20-30 ft. tall. Slender, erect-arching branches, somewhat open at maturity, often suckering. Attractive white flower clusters, dense dark-green summer foliage, wine-red fall color, blue-black berries which persist through winter. Shrub or small tree with short trunk, compact, rounded crown of drooping branches, small white flowers in clusters, and small bluish-black fruit.

When cut, the plants sprout from roots, and old branches will often arch down and take root. Songbirds, gamebirds, and mammals eat the fruit in winter.


From the Image Gallery

17 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 30 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Black, Blue

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: CO , CT , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SD , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY
Canada: MB , NB , ON , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Que. to Man. & MT, s. to VA & n.e. MO, e. NE & WY
Native Habitat: Rich, open woods; hillsides; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist to dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Adaptable to a wide range of conditions. Sometimes develops mildew in shady areas.


Use Wildlife: Squirrels, Birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , 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.
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

Web Reference

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

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-10-11
Research By: TWC Staff

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