blackhaw Caprifoliaceae Viburnum
Leaf: Opposite, simple, elliptical in shape, very finely serrate, 1 to 3 inches long, pinnately veined, with a reddish petiole and often reddish leaf edges; dark green above and paler below.
Flower: Very attractive, small, white (buttery looking from a distance), appearing in dense slightly rounded panicles, 2 to 4 inches wide, appearing in mid-spring.
Fruit: Dark blue, elliptical drupes, 1/4 inch long, often with a whitish bloom, in hanging clusters and ripe in late summer, shriveled raisen-like fruits often persist into winter.
Twig: Moderately stout and stiff looking, reddish brown, numerous opposite short twigs give an appearance of a fish skeleton; buds are valvate, narrowly ovate, pinkish brown, and leathery looking; flower buds similar but swollen, appearing to have swallowed a BB.
Bark: Gray-brown and breaking up into small square plates - like alligator hide.
Form: A large shrub or small tree up to 20 feet with a twisted trunk and stiff, arching branches. Branches often have numerous short shoots that are obviously opposite and right-angled, resembling a fish skeleton.
Looks like: rusty blackhaw - mapleleaf viburnum - possumhaw viburnum - arrowwood
Additional Range Information: Viburnum prunifolium is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting blackhaw.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson