Viburnum Juddii

Kick off spring with the intensely fragrant blooms of Judd viburnum.

By: Julie A Martens
Prunus x juddii  (02) Spring

Prunus x juddii (02) Spring

Celebrate spring’s arrival with the perfumed blooms of Viburnum juddii. This viburnum shrub tends to flower in mid-spring, just in time to provide a fragrant backdrop to tulips and daffodils. Judd viburnum opens highly scented flowers that release luscious perfume into a yard. Sometimes listed as Viburnum x juddii or Juddi viburnum, this plant first hit the landscape scene in 1935 and has resurged in popularity.

Viburnum juddii is the result of a cross between two other viburnums: Koreanspice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) and Bitchiu viburnum (Viburnum bitchiuense). The beautifully fragrant blooms come from Koreanspice viburnum, as does the plant’s denser growth and shorter size. Viburnum juddii grows 6 to 8 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide.

The flowers on Judd viburnum are known as semi-snowball. This means that the flower heads are half spheres with a rounded top and flattened bottom. The blossoms measure about 3.5 inches across. Deep red pink buds open to reveal snow white flowers packed with fragrance. 

You can tuck Viburnum juddii into a full sun to partly shady spot, although full sun yields the strongest flower show. Judd viburnum isn’t picky about soil. Place plants into average, well-drained loamy soil for best growth. Once Viburnum juddii is mature, plants do have good drought tolerance.

In the landscape, count on Viburnum juddii to fill a variety of roles. It makes a great backdrop shrub for a garden border or as part of a woodland planting area. Tuck plants along a path or building to serve as a foundation planting. Or position Viburnum juddii in entry gardens or near a frequently used door so you can savor the fragrance as you come and go.

Like many viburnums, Juddi viburnum is deer resistant. The white flowers beckon all kinds of pollinators, including birds, bees and other insects. The berry show on Viburnum juddii isn’t spectacular, but if berries form, they ripen from burgundy to red in autumn. Berries frequently linger well into winter, turning jet black as temperatures tumble. Fall color features burgundy red to purple—a good show.

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