Winterthur Smooth Viburnum
World-renowned woody plant expert Michael Dirr once said, “A garden without a Viburnum is akin to life without music and art.” We would have to agree, and Winterthur Smooth Viburnum is one of the finest Viburnums you can buy. This sharp accent plant, a part of our Added Definitions program, features shiny, olive-green foliage that turns a rich purple-red in fall. Plant it where its glorious burgundy autumn color will be on full display, whether that’s in a mixed border, in your entryway garden, by your back patio, or outside your living room window. It’s a masterpiece!
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
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Smooth Viburnum is an eastern native found as far north as Connecticut and ranging south to Florida and Louisiana. It often grows in wet environments, but inhabits drier sites, too. The selection known as Winterthur was discovered at the magnificent Winterthur Gardens in Delaware. Because of its immaculate, glossy foliage and neat habit, this Added Definition fits in perfectly in manicured, formal landscapes, and because it’s native, it looks right at home in more naturalistic gardens as well. Its tolerance for alternately wet and dry soil means it’s also an excellent rain garden component. So versatile!
If Smooth Viburnum grows wild in your area, or if you plant another variety of Smooth Viburnum such as Brandywine, you’ll get a bonus: Winterthur will put on a sensational fruit display! The berries start out pink, but turn baby blue, eventually turning navy blue to black. The mix of pink and blue set against a background of deep burgundy fall foliage is breathtaking.
How to Grow
Winterthur Smooth Viburnum will have the densest growth and the most flowers and fruit in full sun, although it can also be grown in part shade. (The last Viburnum to bloom, its creamy white blossoms arrive in late May or early June.) Ordinary, well-drained garden soil is great, but soggy soil is no problem, and short periods of dryness may be tolerated. Winterthur does not like high pH soils, however, so if you have alkaline or limestone soil, you may want to keep this plant in a container or a raised bed.
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