There are 150 species of Snowball bushes – viburnum – with as many garden-appropriate cultivars. These shrubs are available in evergreen and deciduous selections, different sizes and shapes, and a variety of flower types. The majority of snowball bushes do well in slightly acidic, fertile and well-drained soil. Their leaves turn color in the fall and the flowers range in color from white and yellow to pink. Viburnum produce berries for the birds in colder months.
Sun Lovers for Cold
American Cranberry – v. trilobum – is a sun-loving shrub that grows to approximately 12 feet, presents flattened, white flower clusters, and has maple-like leaves that turn red in the fall. This variety of snowball bush produces a heavy crop of red berries in colder months. Compactum is a dense variety of viburnum that grows to 6 feet tall and coordinates well when planted in multiples to create a hedge. Xanthocarpum European cranberry bush is another sun-loving snowball bush that produces yellow fruit in the fall. It grows 8 to 10 feet tall and has glossy, dark green leaves.
Borders and Boundaries
Korean spice viburnum -v. carlesii – is a semi-dwarf shrub that grows 5 to 8 feet tall. Its spicy, sweet aromatic flowers begin as pink, clustered buds that bloom into mostly white flowers. This viburnum requires a neutral pH, which can be established by amending the soil with lime. Cayoga viburnum produces a multitude of pink buds that open to fragrant white flowers. Burkwood viburnum – v. xburkwoodi – is a workhorse that is easy to grow and does well even in poorly drained soil. This variety blooms in the spring, and its leaves are glossy and evergreen with felted undersides. Mohawk viburnum yields clove-scented flowers and a crop of red fruit that ripens to black. All of these varieties are ideal planted in multiples to create landscape borders or as a boundary to delineate a property line.
Double files viburnum produce the most spectacular floral displays. Deciduous viburnum.pilactum tomentosum grows to at least 10 feet tall and has a strong horizontal branching tendency that often creates a bush that is twice as wide as it is tall. This snowball variety produces brilliant white flowers in spring and has bright green leaves that turn reddish-purple in the fall.
Vaccinium corymbosum 'Blue Crop' grows from 4 to 6 feet high and just as wide. Viburnum x burkwoodii 'Conoy' produces dark pink buds that open into creamy white and small flowers, and grows dark green, glossy leaves.