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Viburnum acerifolium (Mapleleaf viburnum)
Vick, Albert F. W.

Viburnum acerifolium

Viburnum acerifolium L.

Mapleleaf Viburnum, Maple-leaf Viburnum, Maple-leaf Arrowwood, Arrowwood

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Synonym(s): Viburnum acerifolium var. acerifolium, Viburnum acerifolium var. densiflorum, Viburnum acerifolium var. glabrescens, Viburnum acerifolium var. ovatum, Viburnum densiflorum

USDA Symbol: viac

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

Maple-leaf arrow-wood is a low, densely branched shrub, 4-6 ft. tall and 3-4 ft. wide. Flat-topped clusters of white flowers are followed by berries turning from red to blue-black. Bright- to dark-green, deciduous foliage, maple-like in shape, is very colorful in fall. A shrub with maple-like leaves and small, white flowers or uniform size in flat topped clusters.

The distinctive, purplish-pink autumn foliage makes this one of our handsomest shrubs. Another native Viburnum with 3-lobed leaves, Cranberry Viburnum (V. opulus var. americanum), has large, showy, white, sterile outer flowers in each cluster and in late summer and autumn bears red fruits suitable for jam. Few-flowered Cranberry Bush (V. edule), with red fruit and only slightly lobed leaves, occurs at high elevations in the Northeast, extending far north into Canada.


From the Image Gallery

15 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Palmate
Leaf Margin: Dentate
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Dense clumps up to about 6 feet tall.
Leaf: Green above, pale below.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower: Flower 1 1/2 to 3 inches across
Fruit: Red turning purple or black.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , ON , QC
Native Distribution: N.B. to Upper Peninsula MI, s. to FL & TX
Native Habitat: Thickets, Shaded woods. Mesic, mixed woods; bluffs; ravines

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Acid-based
Conditions Comments: Suckers profusely to form large, loose, open colonies. Susceptible to Viburnum Leaf Beetle.


Use Ornamental: Color, Blooms ornamental, Fruits ornamental, Fall conspicuous, Accent tree or shrub
Use Wildlife: Birds eat the blue berries. Nectar-bees, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-insects, Browse, Fruit-birds
Conspicuous 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

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native plant to replace invasive non-native nandina in Houston
February 28, 2010
I'm just now finding out that Nandinas are an invasive species from our local chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. I have three of them in my front yard and want to replace them. Can you sug...
view the full question and answer

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:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
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
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2016-03-04
Research By: TWC Staff

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