Viburnum obovatum Walter
Small-leaf Arrowwood, Walter's Viburnum
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)
Synonym(s): Viburnum nashii
USDA Symbol: VIOB
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 Walter's 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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 18 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr
DistributionUSA: AL , FL , GA , SC
Native Distribution: Coastal plain from SC to AL
Native Habitat: Hammocks; thickets; swamp margins
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Variable. Usually moist, or seasonally moist soils.
PropagationSeed 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
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
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Web ReferenceWebref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Research LiteratureReslit 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.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Viburnum obovatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Viburnum obovatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Viburnum obovatum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-05-31
Research By: TWC Staff