Downy Arrowwood

Viburnum rafinesquianum

One of the smallest Viburnums, growing only 5-8 feet tall, Downy Arrowwood has a bushy, oval shape, with multiple stems that are generally upright. It looks good in shrub borders, shrub groupings, or as an understory shrub.

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SKU
99770-GL
Cultural Details
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture Dry, Medium, Moist
Sun Exposure Partial
Height 5' – 8'
Bloom Color White
Bloom Time May, June
Spacing 5' - 7'
Hardiness Zones 3, 4, 5, 6
Root Type Rhizome
Benefits Birds, Pollinators, Host Plant

One of the smallest Viburnums, growing only 5-8 feet tall, Downy Arrowwood has a bushy, oval shape, with multiple stems that are generally upright. The oval leaves are 2 to 3 inches long and wide, with very distinct serrated margins. It looks good in shrub borders, shrub groupings, or as an understory shrub.

Spring brings a profusion of slightly domed clusters of creamy white flowers. The berry-like drupes that follow ripen to a bluish-black color and attract plenty of birds in late summer. Leaves turn a purplish-red in the fall.

This colony forming shrub has a moderate growth rate. Unwanted suckers can be clipped at the ground, but leaving some new sprouts close to the base of the shrub will allow the plant to expand somewhat and renew itself as the older stems age. Remove the sprouts that have traveled too far from the base or old stalks that appear unproductive.

Found growing naturally in forest understories and along woodland margins, Downy Arrowwood is adaptable to various sunlight and soil conditions. It prefers well drained soil, in partial shade. Plants in full sun may require supplemental watering. It does tolerate heat and drought once established.

“Arrowwood” refers to the Native American use of straight stems for arrows. "Downy" refers to the excess of hair on the leaves and leaf stalks of this species, in contrast to the Southern Arrowwood (V.dentatum).

Botanical Synonyms
Viburnum affine