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Viburnum furcatum - scarlet leaved viburnum

IOne of the most beautiful of the genus, this viburnum grows naturally on the islands of East Asia. It flowers early in spring, producing white inflorescences with a ring of large sterile flowers surrounding the smaller fertile central ones. Only after flowering do the large round leaves open, reddish and wrinkled but soon changing to deep green. Before falling, they take on carmine autumn colour.

The scarlet leaved viburnum is self-sterile, so produces berries only if there are other plants nearby of different origin. When cross-pollination is successful, red berry clusters are produced, changing later in autumn to black.

Like many other viburnums, this species is happiest in partial shade, for example in woodland gardens. In its native habitat it favours rich forest soils which retain moisture. In these conditions it is sparsely branched and erect, reaching about 4m in height, but in full light it remains lower.


Viburnum cassinoides - withe rod, wild raisin

Wild raisin is a variable and attractive viburnum which changes colour throughout the growing season. The leaves open a shiny reddish-bronze in spring, changing to shiny green in summer with fiery shades of orange and wine-red in autumn. The stiff leathery leaves give an exotic impression of being evergreen, but are in fact deciduous.

In July, wild raisin bears creamy flowers in 5-10cm corymbs, while in autumn the berries show colour starting from greenish-white, passing through pink to red to blue and finally almost black. There may be berries showing all these colours at the same time on a single bush.

In full sun the wild raisin develops a denser habit and flowers better than in shade. The specimen at Atsalealampi (Azalea Pool) has reached 1.5m and doesn’t seem to be growing any higher.


Viburnum lantanoides - hobblebush

Viburnum lantanoides, kukinto ©jr


At the end of May or early in June, near the pool at the foot of Atsalearinne (Azalea Valley), you can see a flowering shrub which hasn’t yet come into leaf, the flowers resembling those of a hydrangea. It doesn’t really look like a viburnum, but that’s what it is.

In summer, the hobblebush attracts attention with its large oval-to-round leaves with featherlike veins. In autumn, the berries ripen first to red and then to blue-black. The leaves turn a bright or deep red.

In habit, the hobblebush is loose, though it can grow quite large. The curving branches often touch the ground and root easily, giving rise to the common name.

The North American hobblebush hasn’t yet been tried much in Finland but should be hardy at least in southern areas.


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