Arrowwood viburnum - Viburnum Dentatum
Arrowwood viburnum is a native of the northeastern quarter of the U.S. and southern Canada. This member of the honeysuckle family is known as arrowwood because the indigenous tribes of these areas used the solid and straight stems as shafts for their arrows. Today, this mounded shrub is much prized for its value as a landscape showpiece and is grown throughout North America, thriving in hardiness zones three through eight. In the spring, arrowwood viburnum produces copious clusters of creamy white blossoms, which mature over the summer into large, blue-black berries. These traits make it an excellent planting to attract wildlife, especially birds, butterflies, pollinators, and small mammals like squirrels and chipmunks. The saw-toothed leaves turn vibrant shades of yellow, red, or purple in the fall, adding late-season interest to the landscaping. Though arrowwood viburnum can tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions, care should be given to selecting its location as it can potentially grow quite large. Depending on how it is maintained, an arrowwood shrub can reach up to fifteen feet in height and spread. It is also a reasonably fast-growing variety, adding up to two feet in height and diameter per year. Arrowwood viburnum does prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade as long as it receives at least four total hours of sunlight per day. It can also adapt to various soil conditions, from sand to clay and acidic to alkaline. However, for best results, plant arrowwood viburnum in loamy soil with a neutral or slightly acidic pH and water regularly until established. These shrubs require relatively little maintenance, especially if an informal, mounded shape is desired. To create a more compact shape, prune the shrub back in the spring or early summer after it has blossomed. When plants are mature, maintain them by cutting back weak or winter-damaged stems early each spring, before new growth appears.