Viburnum rhytidophyllum (Leather Leaf Viburnum) is an evergreen shrub that belongs to the Adoxaceae family. It is native to China and has become widely cultivated for its large, leathery leaves and attractive, dense foliage.
Appearance: Leather Leaf Viburnum is a large, rounded shrub that can grow up to 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) in height with a similar spread. It has a dense and bushy form with multiple stems. The most distinctive feature of this plant is its large, leathery leaves, which can measure around 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) in length. The leaves have a wrinkled or corrugated texture, giving the plant its common name.
Evergreen Foliage: One of the main attractions of Viburnum rhytidophyllum is its glossy, dark green, and leathery leaves that persist throughout the year. The evergreen nature of this shrub provides year-round interest and adds structure to the landscape.
Flowers: Leather Leaf Viburnum produces clusters of creamy-white flowers in late spring to early summer. The flowers are small and tubular, and they are held in flattened cymes that can measure 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) in diameter. While the individual flowers are not particularly showy, the overall effect of the large clusters can be quite striking.
Fruits: After flowering, Viburnum rhytidophyllum develops small, oval-shaped fruits that transition from green to a metallic blue-black color as they mature. The fruits are not typically considered significant ornamental features, but they can attract birds to the garden.
Growth and Adaptability: Leather Leaf Viburnum is known for its hardiness and adaptability. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay and loam. This shrub is relatively low-maintenance and is able to withstand urban conditions and pollution.
Overall, Viburnum rhytidophyllum (Leather Leaf Viburnum) is valued for its bold, evergreen foliage and adaptability to various growing conditions. It is a versatile shrub that adds texture, structure, and year-round interest to gardens and landscapes.