Viburnum dentatum (Arrow-wood viburnum, Southern Arrow-wood) is a deciduous shrub native to eastern and central North America. Arrow-wood viburnum is a medium to large-sized shrub that typically grows between 6 and 10 feet (1.8 to 3 meters) in height. It has an upright, rounded form with multiple stems arising from the base. The leaves are opposite, simple, and elliptical in shape, measuring around 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) long. They are dark green in summer and may turn shades of yellow, orange, or red in the fall.
Flowers: The shrub produces clusters of small, creamy white flowers that bloom in late spring to early summer. The flowers are typically arranged in flat-topped clusters, known as cymes. They attract a variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other insects.
Fruit: One of the notable features of Viburnum dentatum is its fruit. After the flowers fade, the shrub develops berry-like fruits that are initially green but turn shades of blue-black as they ripen. These fruits are about ¼ to ½ inch (0.6 to 1.3 centimeters) in diameter and provide food for birds, such as thrushes, sparrows, and finches.
Habitat: Arrow-wood viburnum is adaptable to various soil types and can be found in a range of habitats, including woodlands, thickets, and along stream banks. It is tolerant of wet soils and can grow in both full sun and partial shade.
Wildlife Value: The fruits of Arrow-wood viburnum are highly attractive to birds, which feed on them during the fall and winter months. The shrub also provides cover and nesting sites for birds, making it valuable for wildlife habitat.
Other Species: It's worth noting that there are several other species of Viburnum, and some may share similar common names. Viburnum recognitum, commonly known as Smooth Arrow-wood, is a closely related species that is found in similar habitats and has similar characteristics to Viburnum dentatum.