Botanical Name: Viburnum nudum
Common Name: Possumhaw Viburnum, Possumhaw, smooth Witherod, Nake Withe-rod, Bilberry, Nanny-berry, Swamp-Haw Viburnum, Southern Wild Raisin, Wild Raisin, Blue Haw, Appalachian Tea
Description: Y’all, we seriously have so many beautiful native Viburnums that need to be used in our landscape way more than they are. Just take a gander at the pics of this gorgeous Possumhaw Viburnum.
Beautiful Florida native shrub that is dense, 5-12′ tall and wide with upright stems becoming arching with age. Flat-topped clusters of fragrant white flowers bloom May, June, and sometimes into July, and they smell like flour! It has an open, somewhat rounded and weeping crown. Foliage is smoother and more lustrous than most viburnums and fall red/burgundy color is always good. Growth rate is medium to fast. This is a deciduous shrub. After flowering, the drupes (berries) put on an incredible show in the fall. The drupes start out pink, red, blue then turn black when fully ripe. Sometimes all colors are on the bush at the same time. The drupes are edible, and may be dried like raisins, thus one of the common names. They can also be made into jams. Drupe production is best if more than one shrub is planted. They grow naturally as an understory shrub, so give them part sun or part shade. Try to give it some relief from the hot afternoon summer sun. Very versatile in what soil it grows in: grows naturally in wet, mucky, boggy areas, but adapts to regular gardening situations with no problem. Is actually drought resistant once established. Would be great in your rain garden. It does like acidic soil though. Very easy to grow shrub that has no serious bug or disease issues. These can be limbed up as a tree or used as a hedge.
The drupes are eaten by robins, cardinals, bluebirds, flickers, thrashers, mockingbirds, catbirds, and thrushes. They are high in lipids, a source of energy for the southbound migrants. Native pollinators such as hoverflies, sweat bees, and scarab beetles seek the pollen produced by the spring flowers. The leaves host 104 species of butterfly and moth caterpillars including the Spring Azure butterfly and Hummingbird Clearwing moth. Grouse, wild turkeys, and squirrels also enjoy eating the drupes. Is somewhat deer resistant.
Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water. Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray.
This plant in 3-gallon containers is 2-3′ tall.
This plant in 7-gallon containers is 3-5′ tall.
Plant Lore: Genus name comes from the Latin name of a species plant. Specific epithet means nude or naked, and refers to the smooth leaves and branches.
Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 9