Viburnum lantana (Twistwood, Wayfaring Tree) is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the Adoxaceae family. It is native to Europe, western Asia, and North Africa. Twistwood is valued for its attractive foliage, showy flowers, and clusters of colorful fruits.
Appearance: Twistwood is a medium to large-sized shrub that can reach a height of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) with a similar spread. It has a rounded, bushy form with multiple stems. The branches are stout and have a twisting or contorted growth pattern, which gives the plant its common name.
Leaves: The leaves of Viburnum lantana are opposite, simple, and have a rough texture. They are ovate to lance-shaped, and their margins are serrated or toothed. The leaves have a dark green color and turn shades of yellow, orange, and red in the fall, providing autumn interest.
Flowers: Twistwood produces clusters of small, creamy white flowers in late spring to early summer. The flowers are arranged in flat-topped clusters called cymes. Each flower has five petals and a sweet fragrance. The overall effect of the numerous flowers can create a showy display.
Fruits: Following the flowers, Viburnum lantana develops clusters of drupe-like fruits. The fruits start out green and transition through shades of yellow, orange, and red as they mature. They are about 1/3 to 1/2 inch (8 to 12 mm) in diameter and provide ornamental interest. While the fruits are not typically consumed by humans, they are attractive to birds and wildlife.
Growth and Adaptability: Twistwood is known for its hardiness and adaptability. It can tolerate a range of growing conditions, including full sun to partial shade and various soil types. It can withstand both drought and moist conditions. This shrub is relatively low-maintenance and can tolerate cold temperatures.
Overall, Viburnum lantana (Twistwood or Wayfaring Tree) is valued for its attractive foliage, showy flowers, and colorful fruits. It is a versatile shrub that adds beauty and wildlife value to gardens and landscapes.