Thursday, May 9, 2013

Plant of the Day: Doublefile Viburnum

Doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum) has finished blooming; the petals have fallen and the berries are forming. The aging inflorescences look like rows of miniature tropical trees up close like this. Spiders have had a field day creating nets between the "trees," and just in time for recently returned hummingbirds that will use the webbing for their nests.

A month ago, blooms looked like this:

And in November, leaves faded like this:

As soon as berries form on this plant, they are eaten up by very enthusiastic birds that seem to adore doublefile viburnum, not only for food, but for shelter. It provides a safe place to perch as they fly back and forth to the feeders, and as they preen. Most years a bird couple decides to nest in ours. The gardener has every reason to be just as enthusiastic— these are beautiful shrubs through the seasons, with an especially generous springtime bloom. They are easy to grow and easy to propagate by cuttings.


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