Viburnum lentago (Nannyberry, Wild Raisin, Sweet Berry) is a deciduous shrub or small tree that belongs to the Adoxaceae family. It is native to eastern North America and is appreciated for its attractive foliage, clusters of white flowers, and abundant fruits.
Appearance: Nannyberry is a multi-stemmed shrub that can reach a height of 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) or more. In some cases, it can grow into a small tree with a narrow, upright form. The bark is grayish-brown and develops shallow fissures as the plant matures.
Leaves: The leaves of Viburnum lentago are opposite, simple, and ovate to elliptical in shape. They are dark green and have a glossy texture. The leaves measure around 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) in length and have finely toothed margins. In the fall, they often turn shades of reddish-purple or bronze before dropping.
Flowers: Nannyberry produces clusters of small, creamy white flowers in late spring to early summer. The flowers are typically arranged in flat-topped clusters called cymes. Each flower has five petals and a pleasant fragrance. They attract pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.
Fruits: Following the flowers, Viburnum lentago develops clusters of dark blue-black berries. The fruits are oval-shaped and around 1/4 inch (6 mm) in diameter. They ripen in late summer to early fall and are edible for humans. The berries are sweet and juicy, often described as having a taste similar to raisins, hence the common name "Wild Raisin." They are also enjoyed by birds and wildlife.
Growth and Adaptability: Nannyberry is a hardy shrub that is adaptable to various growing conditions. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers moist, well-drained soil. It can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay, loam, and sandy soils. This shrub is relatively low-maintenance and can withstand cold temperatures.
Overall, Viburnum lentago (Nannyberry) is valued for its attractive foliage, fragrant flowers, and edible fruits. It is a versatile shrub that adds beauty and wildlife value to various landscape settings.