Quarryhill Botanical Garden

Advancing the Conservation, Study, and Cultivation of the Flora of Asia

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View Blog Archive Featured Plants of Quarryhill > Viburnum sieboldii var. obovatifolium
Viburnum sieboldii var. obovatifolium

This deciduous shrub is endemic to forests of Japan's Honshu Island, in the north and along its Japan Sea (northwestern) side. Its common name in Japanese, Hirohagomagi, refers to the sesame seed smell that exudes from the leaves when crushed.  Its leaves are a rich, dark green color, with hairy undersides and vivid, almost straight, lateral veins.  Striking, terminal panicles of creamy-white flowers, in a depressed pyramidal shape, appear from late April to mid-June, practically covering the plant.  Sensational, turgid drupes of brilliant scarlet-red, in broad, splayed clusters sporting beautiful red stems, appear from late July to October, gradually turning to bluish-black.  The fruit is 8-10 mm long by 5-7 mm wide, elliptically shaped, annd with a longitudinal groove extending along the ventral side. This shrub likes full sun to part shade, regular water, and a moist, rich, loamy soil. 

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