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Viburnum utileViburnum utile

  • BOTANICAL NAME: Viburnum utile
  • COMMON NAME: Service Viburnum
  • FAMILY: Caprifoliaceae
  • NATIVITY: China
  • GROWTH HABIT: Bean describes the plant as, "pretty graceful" while Dirr calls it, "rather scraggly" and Krussmann says, "loose...thinly branched". I have seen plants that would fit all of these descriptions. The 3 year old plant at the
    University of Delaware Botanic Gardens is dense and 2' tall and as wide.
  • SIZE: 3-6' tall
  • HARDINESS: Zone 6 - 8
  • CULTURE: Full sun to partial shade, although the shade may encourage
    a loose habit. Plants grow best in moist, well drained soil. Wilson described
    plants growing on limestone, although plants grow well in acidic soil also.
  • LANDSCAPE USE: As specimen (assume habit remains tight) or better in groups.
    A bird-attracting plant.
  • FOLIAGE: Alternate, ovate to oblong, entire although wavy, 1 - 3" long.
    Dark green above and pubescent, whitish beneath.
  • FLOWERS: Terminal cymes, to 3" across in May. Flowers are white about 1/3" across.
  • FRUIT: Drupe, bluish black.
  • PROPAGATION: Cuttings, seed.
  • PESTS: None serious.
  • CULTIVARS: There are no cultivars of V. utile proper, but it is one of the parents
    of V. x burkwoodii and its cultivars. Additionally, V. utile has been used in
    backcrosses to produce these cultivars:
    • `Chesapeake' - 6 -10', 2 - 3" diameter flattened inflorescence
    • `Conoy' - 5' tall and 7' wide in 17 yr, flattened inflorescence 2 - 2 1/2"
    • `Eskimo - 4' tall and 5' wide in 12 yr, inflorescence 3-4" snowball shaped