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Viburnum rafinesqueanum (Downy arrowwood)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Viburnum rafinesqueanum

Viburnum rafinesqueanum Schult.

Downy Arrowwood

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Synonym(s): Viburnum affine, Viburnum affine var. hypomalacum, Viburnum rafinesqueanum var. affine, Viburnum rafinesqueanum var. rafinesqueanum


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

A 3-6 ft. shrub, sometimes taller, with multiple straight stems in a loose habit. White, flat-topped flower clusters are followed by dark blue berries. Fall foliage is colorful.


From the Image Gallery

8 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Green.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Purple.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , CT , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , ON
Native Distribution: W. VT to s.e. Man., s. to GA, AL & AR
Native Habitat: Rocky woods; old fields; dry slopes & banks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry to mesic loams and sands.
Conditions Comments: Disease and insect tolerant. Transplants well. Tolerates alkaline soil. Intolerant of flooding.


Use Wildlife: Berries eated by gamebirds, songbirds and small mammals. Grazed by hooved browsers.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


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

Web Reference

Webref 26 - Minnesota Wildflowers: a field guide to the flora of Minnesota (2009)
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-05-31
Research By: TWC Staff

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