Blue Muffin ViburnumViburnum dentatum 'Christom'
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Viburnum dentatum 'Christom'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Blue Muffin Viburnum is a compact selection of this native shrub, with remarkable azure-blue berries in fall. These cluster densely at the ends of the branches, after white flowers that bloom in May or June. The attractive glossy leaves turn yellows, oranges, reds, and even purples in fall. Growing about 6 feet tall and wide it is perfect for the back of shrub beds, among foundation plants around your home, in garden beds, or in woodland settings and wild gardens.
The Blue Muffin Viburnum is very hardy, growing even in zone 3, and it tolerates a wide range of growing conditions. Full sun and rich, moist, well-drained soil is best, but it grows in partial shade, clay soils, and dry places too, as well as wet ground and areas prone to flooding. It is generally free of pests, diseases and deer damage, and needs very little attention. Avoid pruning as this can reduce flowering and berries. A second variety of the same species is needed for a good berry crop. We recommend the Northern Burgundy™ Viburnum for this.
When planting your garden, whatever it’s style, you need some easy-care shrubs to form backgrounds and fill spaces. With the trend today to grow native plants, it makes sense to choose them for backgrounds and foundation planting. It makes even more sense to choose improved varieties that emphasize these plants’ best features. There are several types of viburnums for gardens, and many are native to North America. For a shrub outstanding for its extraordinary berry display in fall, that also has attractive flowers and fall foliage, look no further than the Blue Muffin Viburnum. Blue is rare and desirable in a garden, and the sight of the remarkable azur-blue berries decorating this bush is one you will cherish and admire. Since this plant is native, it is also an important part of the ecological support system for insects and birds, something we want to do everything to preserve. So enjoy great beauty, and help out Mother Nature, by planting this remarkable shrub.
The Blue Muffin Viburnum is a rounded deciduous shrub that grows between 5 and 7 feet tall and wide. It has a bushy, well-branched structure, with straight stems and light-brown slightly rough bark. The oval leaves are in pairs, and they are about 4 inches long. They have a glossy surface, toothed edges, a pointed tip and a pronounced pattern of veins. In summer they are a warm dark green and in fall colors vary from yellow to oranges, reds and purples.
Flowers form in flat clusters at the ends of stems from the previous year, opening in May or June. The clusters are about 4 inches across and packed with tiny soft-white flowers that attract pollinating insects and butterflies. These are followed by clusters of berries that ripen in late summer to early fall, turning from green to a remarkable azure-blue color. Berries are attractive for several weeks before being taken by songbirds, who enjoy their high oil content.
To enjoy a good crop of berries – which is mostly why you are growing it – you do need another variety of this species of viburnum growing nearby, to pollinate each other. There are several other varieties, and we recommend our Northern Burgundy™ Viburnum as a good choice. Generally, they flower at the same time, but this can be affected by the area you live in – flowering time vary across the country. This second variety should flower at about the same time for good pollination to take place.
This bushy shrub can be used in foundation plantings around your home or out in beds in your garden. It is useful for giving structure and bulk to shrub beds. It also grows well in woodland settings, so it’s great for a natural garden or wild garden. You can also grow it as an informal hedge or screen, spacing plants 4 feet apart for a continuous wall of branches.
This plant is hardy across almost all the country, from zone 3 to zone 8, growing best in places with regular rainfall or irrigation.
The Blue Muffin Viburnum is adaptable to different light levels, growing best and producing the most flowers and berries in full sun. it will also grow well in partial shade, such as the broken shade beneath tall deciduous trees, and even on the north side of walls. It grows in most soils, preferring moist but well-drained soils, but very adaptable to almost all conditions. It will grow in heavy clay soils, and it is also able to grow beneath black walnut trees, where many plants die.
The Blue Muffin Viburnum is generally not bothered by any pests or diseases of importance, although some butterfly caterpillars may eat a few leaves. When young you can improve the structure of this shrub by removing any weak and thin twigs, but we don’t recommend much pruning or trimming, as cutting stems often removes immature berries or prevents flowering.
Arrow-wood, Viburnum dentatum, is native to eastern North America, from the Great Lakes to Florida and from Maine to Texas. Wild plants can grow to 15 feet tall and they have dark, blue-black berries. The long straight stems that sprout from the base were used by native Americans to make arrows. For gardens, more compact varieties would be so much better, so the staff at Spring Meadows Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan sowed many seeds and found among them one that was much bushier, with bright blue berries. It was named ‘Christom’, and in 2001 Spring Meadow registered the trademark name Blue Muffin® for it.
We love the compact form of this shrub, perfect for smaller gardens and for mixing with other flowering shrubs. You will love it too, and of course adore the amazing blue berries each fall. Order now, because the rarity of this color makes these plants very desirable, and stocks are always low.