Burkwood ViburnumViburnum x burkwoodii
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Viburnum x burkwoodii
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Burkwood Viburnum is an upright shrub, reaching 8 to 10 feet tall in time, and spreading 6 or 7 feet wide. It has many branches from the ground, and the dark green leaves are evergreen in warm zones, and deciduous in cooler ones, where they turn rich maroon red first. The profuse clusters of pink buds open to white, fragrant flowers, attracting insects, and the red berries that come in fall turn black as they ripen. This easy shrub is ideal for all gardens, filling beds and adding interest to natural areas. It is non-invasive.
Grow the Burkwood Viburnum in a range of light conditions, from full sun to partial shade. It thrives just about anywhere, in almost all soils, as long as they are not wet all the time. It tolerates urban pollution and drought too, once established. Pests and diseases are normally absent, and virtually no care is needed once this shrub has become established. Pruning after flowering is optional.
Some plants can be difficult to grow, needing specific kinds of soil, an ideal balance of light, mulching, watering, and lots of care to give their best. Of course you should grow some of them – although today even many ‘difficult’ plants like roses have become much easier to grow with modern, low-care varieties. But for the main plants in your garden we want to strike a balance between beauty and work, so it’s best to have plenty of easy-care plants in your garden. You can enjoy ‘easy’ and ‘beautiful’ in a single plant when you grow the lovely Burkwood Viburnum. A beautiful upright shrub, the clusters of pink buds followed by deliciously-fragrant white flowers make spring a delightful season. Fall brings clusters of red berries, and often maroon fall colors, making this great shrub a ‘must have’ in every garden. It helps you make an easy-care framework that will free you up to spend what precious time you have on a few select beauties. It fits perfectly into all kinds of gardens, and thrives just about anywhere – what more can we ask for?
The Burkwood Viburnum is an upright shrub that can be deciduous, but which generally stays evergreen in zones 7 and 8, at the warmest end of its hardiness. It has an open structure of branches coming from low down, growing in time to about 10 feet tall, with a spread of 6 or 7 feet. The leaves are 2 to 4 inches long, and around 1½ inches wide, in pairs along the stems. They are oval, often with a heart-shaped base, tapering to a point, with a faintly-serrated edge and prominent branching veins. They are a glossy deep-green, and the underside, and the young stems as well, are covered with a pale-brown soft ‘fuzz’ of closely-packed short hairs. In cooler zones the leaves turn maroon red in fall, before dropping.
Flowering takes place in spring, and even in late winter in warm zones. Like we see in almost all viburnums, the flower clusters are visible by late fall, and expand gradually over the winter, rushing to open with the warmth of spring. The flower clusters are 2½ to 3½ inches across and abundant, each one packed with many flowers ½-inch across. These are pretty pink in bud, opening to pure white in April or May, and filling the air with a wonderful fragrance. The flowers attract pollinating insects and hummingbirds may visit the blooms. After flowering, clusters of berries develop, which will color in fall, first turning red and then later becoming black. Birds enjoy the berries – humans not so much. Groups of plants generally produce more berries than plants grown alone.
This bush is very easy-going, thriving in many places, so it is an obvious choice for making the structure in your garden. Grow it in the background or middle of shrub beds, or between evergreens around your home. Plant it next to a window to enjoy the beautiful spring fragrance. It is perfect for today’s more natural gardens, planted near trees or around the edge of woodland. Although not native it has never been recorded as invasive, so you can grow it safely everywhere, including urban areas, where it has good resistance to air pollution. It could also be grown in large tubs or planter boxes in zones 7 and 8. For group planting, space your plants about 5 feet apart.
The Burkwood Viburnum grows easily all the way from zone 4 to zone 8. As already mentioned, it is evergreen in zones 7 and 8.
This tough and reliable bush grows well in full sun or partial shade. It thrives in almost all soils, both acid and alkaline, from clay to sand, and including poor urban soils. Adding some organic material when planting will give it a good start, but once established it is drought resistant too, and needs nothing much at all.
Pests or diseases are normally not a problem with the Burkwood Viburnum. It can be left to grow naturally, or, if you want to prune it a little, do this immediately after flowering. If in time it starts to look overcrowded and tangled, you can remove a few of the oldest stems, close to the ground to re-invigorate it. Bushes live for many years, and yet don’t take over and become too big.
The Burkwood Viburnum is a hybrid bush, with two parents. The pollen came from the Korean Spice Viburnum, Viburnum carlesii, which gave the flowers their heavenly fragrance. This plant comes originally from Korea. The tendency to be evergreen came from the seed parent, Viburnum utile, a Chinese species introduced by the plant collector Ernest Wilson, in 1901. The hybridization was done by Arthur and Albert Burkwood, who owned a nursery in Kingston-on-Thames, outside London, England, called Messrs Burkwood and Skipwith, Ltd. They raised this unique seedling in 1924, according to most records, and the same nursery created several other hybrid viburnums, and other unusual shrubs. The hybrid is officially called Viburnum x burkwoodii.
If you want an excellent and attractive garden, that isn’t going to take all your time, then plants like the Burkwood Viburnum are essential. Use it freely around your garden, and enjoy it. But order now, because essential plants like this sell out fast.