Viburnum Plicatum

Discover one of the most beautiful viburnum shrubs. 

By: Julie A Martens

Choose a viburnum for your yard from the amazing plants related to Viburnum plicatum. This viburnum shrub includes a head turning doublefile viburnum, Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii,’ as well as a classic Japanese snowball form, Viburnum plicatum ‘Popcorn.’ Other great selections include ‘Summer Snowflake’ viburnum and Viburnum ‘Shasta.’ Learn about a few varieties of Viburnum plicatum.

When you plant Viburnum plicatum, you’re adding multi-season interest to your landscape. Spring flowers and eye-catching leaves are just part of the package. Some Viburnum plicatum varieties form fruit that’s not only pretty but also attracts birds to the garden. Other selections have outstanding fall color. Most of the varieties grow in full sun to part shade and aren’t picky about soil. Many Viburnum plicatum varieties are drought tolerant once established.

Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ is a type of doublefile viburnum. The doublefile viburnum shrubs open lacecap type blooms 2 to 4 inches across. Flowers are arranged in double rows along the branches, which gives rise to the name “doublefile.” Branch arrangement is usually strongly horizontal, which is exceptionally good looking. Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ flowers fade to form red fruits that eventually ripen to black. Red fruits contrast nicely with green leaves during the growing season, and the ripe black fruits stand out against red and burgundy-purple fall foliage.

‘Summer Snowflake’ Viburnum plicatum offers a smaller size than Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii,’ along with a longer flowering window. Viburnum ‘Summer Snowflake’ has its strongest flower show in spring, but blooms continue to open sporadically through summer and even fall. Viburnum ‘Summer Snowflake’ tops out at 5 to 8 feet tall, a nice no-pruning-necessary fit for modern yards.

‘Shasta’ Viburnum plicatum is also a doublefile viburnum. It grows 4 to 6 feet tall with the strong horizontal branching typical of doublefile viburnum. The flowers on Viburnum ‘Shasta’ are huge, measuring up to 6 inches across. Blossoms appear on ‘Shasta’ viburnum in spring, followed by red fruits that ripen to black in fall.

Viburnum plicatum ‘Popcorn’ opens Japanese snowball type flowers in spring. This Japanese snowball bush flowers earlier than the other varieties. Plant it with a traditional Japanese snowball viburnum, such as Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum,’ and you can extend the flowering season by a few weeks. ‘Popcorn’ viburnum grows 5 to 8 feet tall and boasts strong fall color with red to burgundy leaves.

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