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Viburnum dentatum (Southern arrowwood)
Cressler, Alan

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum dentatum L.

Southern Arrowwood

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)


USDA Symbol: vide

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A 6-8 ft. shrub, sometimes taller, with multiple, erect-arching stems in a loose, round habit. White, flat-topped flower clusters are followed by dark blue berries. Lustrous, dark-green foliage turns yellow to wine-red in fall. A shrub with downy twigs, coarsely toothed leaves, and flat-topped clusters of small, white flowers. Some botanists recognize two separate species for this highly variable plant, the other being northern Arrowwood (V. recognitum) with smooth twigs.


From the Image Gallery

23 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic , Ovate
Leaf Margin: Serrate
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Many branched shrub up to about 15 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Shiny dark green above, pale below.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower: Flowers 2-4 inches across.
Fruit: Black, Purple 1/3 inch long.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: Yellow stamens


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , ON
Native Distribution: FL to e. TX, n., especially on the Coastal Plain to MA & OH
Native Habitat: Stream banks; moist woods

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Dry to wet, acid soils and sands.
Conditions Comments: Flood, insect and disease tolerant. Suckers freely from base and transplants well. Most soil-adaptable of the viburnums. Pest free.


Use Wildlife: Gamebirds, songbirds and small mammals. Attracts Eastern Bluebird, Northern Flicker, Gray Catbird, and American Robin.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Spring Azure

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

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

Plant identfication
October 21, 2009
Hi...Can you please identfy the tall, evergreen shrub with purple plum-colored foliage that I have noticed in winter locally?...Hope so, need he color! THX
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
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-MLE-33 Collected 2006-09-04 in Newton County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


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 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
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

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

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

Research Literature

Reslit 262 - Comparative rooting of deciduous landscape shrub cuttings in media amended with paper mill biosolids from four different sources (1998) C. Chong, B. Hamersma and K. L. Bellamy
Reslit 487 - Colonization of old fields by trees vs. shrubs: seed dispersal and seedling establishment (2004) S. Gardescu and P. L. Marks
Reslit 359 - Allometric Equations for the Aboveground Biomass of Selected Common Eastern Hardwood Understory Species (2010) Y. L. Dickinson and E. K. Zenner
Reslit 298 - Weed Control and Organic Mulches Affect Physiology and Growth of Landscape Shrubs (2009) B. M. Cregg and R. Schutzki
Reslit 584 - In vitro propagation of Viburnum dentatum L. var. lucidum Aiton (2009) S. Hatzilazarou, N. Rifaki, M. Patsou, S. Kostas a...
Reslit 919 - Selective predation on the seeds of woody plants (1997) S. J. Meiners and E. W. Stiles
Reslit 1210 - Survival and growth of native and alien woody seedlings in open and understory environments (2003) N. L. Sanford, R. A. Harrington and J. H. Fownes
Reslit 1455 - Container-grown Ornamental Plant Growth and Water Runoff Nutrient Content and Volume Under Four Irrigation Treatments (2009) A. L. Warsaw, R. T. Fernandez, B. M. Cregg and J. ...
Reslit 1718 - Influence of seed processing by frugivorous birds on germination success of three North American shrubs (1998) G. A. Meyer and M. C. Witmer
Reslit 1913 - Plant defense elicitors fail to protect Viburnum dentatum from herbivory by viburnum leaf beetle (Coleoptera : Chrysomelidae) (2008) P. A. Weston

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

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


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

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