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What Is a Burkwood Viburnum?

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  • Written By: Vasanth S.
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 27 June 2014
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A burkwood viburnum is a shrub that is part of the Caprifoliaceae plant family. It is a hybrid species that was produced from Viburnum carlesii and Viburnum utile. The shrub features pinkish-white flowers and clusters of fruit that are reddish-black when ripe. Landscapers use this shrub as a hedge or border shrub. It is relatively maintenance free, but the shrub is affected by leaf spot or powdery mildew, both of which are fungal diseases.

The scientific name of burkwood viburnum is Viburnum x burkwoodii. Commonly, the shrub is called snowball viburnum, since the flower arrangement resembles a ball of snow. This hybrid shrub has two varieties. The chenaultii shrub features a bronzed fall foliage, and it usually flowers a week later than burkwood viburnum. Another variety is mohawk, which is a compact form that features a colorful fall foliage.

Burkwood viburnum grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8. Viburnum carlesii and Viburnum utile are native to eastern Asia. The hybrid's varieties were introduced to the west.

The burkwood viburnum shrub typically grows 10 feet (3 m) in height and spreads about 8 feet (2.4 m). It initially has an oval upright form, but it gradually spreads. The dense foliage consists of dark green leaves that are elliptical in shape.

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Red or pink buds begin to emerge in April and blossom into cup-shaped flowers that are about 2.5 inches (6 cm) in diameter. The petals are white with a trace of pink, and they are fragrant. Usually, the flowers remain on the shrub for two weeks.

Burkwood viburnum can be planted in a variety of soils, but for best results, it is recommended to use well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. It is tolerant of heat and drought conditions. Usually, this shrub is planted in an area that is exposed to direct sunlight, but it can survive in partial shade.

This shrub is commonly planted with hollies and wax myrtles. Several types of viburnums can be placed together as well. These plants typically attract several types of birds.

The main concern with the burkwood viburnum is leaf spot or powdery mildew. Leaf spot causes brown or black spots on leaves. Powdery mildew is characterized by a white coating on leaves and shoots. Both are caused by a fungus and both result in the the leaves curling and dropping. Spraying a fungicide over the foliage is the best way to prevent the fungus from spreading.

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