Viburnum prunifolium L. - Black Haw

Viburnum prunifolium plant

Family - Caprifoliaceae

Stems - Woody, multiple. A shrub to 2m tall. Twigs glabrous.

Viburnum prunifolium twigWinter twig.

Viburnum prunifolium barkBark.

Leaves - Opposite, petiolate, ovate to elliptic, serrate, glabrous, to 9cm long, 6cm wide, blunt or acute at tip. Petiole +/-1.5cm long, reddish, slightly winged, (wings 1mm broad).

Viburnum prunifolium budBud.

Inflorescence - Terminal, dome-shaped cymes. Dense and appearing as a compound umbel, with copper-colored glands.

Flowers - Corolla whitish, 5-lobed(petals united), to 9mm broad. Lobes 3mm long and wide. Stamens 5, borne at base of corolla tube, well exserted, erect. Filaments to 4mm long, glabrous. Anthers yellow, to 1.2mm long. Style thick, .7mm long. Calyx tube to 2mm long, 1.2mm in diameter, glabrous, 5-lobed. Lobes to .8mm broad, .5mm long. Fruits purplish-black, ellipsoid to globose, to +1cm long, single-seeded (drupes).

Viburnum prunifolium flowers closeFlowers, close-up.

Viburnum prunifolium fruits

Flowering - April - May.

Habitat - Low woods, moist soils, slopes, thickets. Also cultivated.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species can be found throughout Missouri but is apparently absent from a few counties in the extreme northwest corner of the state. The plant can be identified by its opposite leaves (which resemble those of the genus Prunus or Pyrus), its tan, thin leaf buds, and its big clusters of white flowers.
The fruits of this species are edible. The plant has been cultivated for some time and would make a good garden specimen plant.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 10-12-99, at Whetstone Creek Conservation Area, Callaway County, MO., 2-26-04, and off the MKT Trail, Columbia, MO., 4-23-04.


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