One of the finest ornamentals for the garden/landscape are the various forms of Viburnum plicatum tomentosum, and V. p. plicatum (the snowball forms). These shrubs of amazing beauty grace some of the finest landscapes, yet the average home owner, gardening enthusiast, can enjoy them as well. These shrubs are four season performers. Spring is flowers in either lacecap or snowball clusters of whites and pinks, summer offers red berries if the flowers are pollinated, autumn shows leaf color of burgundy and rosy purples as well as the reds, yellows, and oranges, and winter offers horizontal structure with peeling whitish gray bark. The growth habit is highly architectural, showing all the blooms to advantage. The stratified layering of branches is attractive in itself and when smothered in bloom, is truly spectacular! These are almost zero maintenance subjects. You just have to think ahead and plant with the mature dimension of the plant in mind, remembering that these shrubs grow widely(a very important part of their charm). thgey are called doublefile because the blossoms appear in two ranks (like soldiers in two columns) all along the horizontal branches.

They like to be well watered and will grow in sun to quite a bit of shade. Good drainage is essential, but these are easy care, tough shrubs. The size of the mature plant will vary according to variety. Some very large specimens can grow to perhaps 15 ft tall and wide, but this is uncommon. (Imagine a layer cake where you see all the layers of frosting in between, and you have a pretty good idea of the effect of this plant in bloom!).

Oval pleated leaves cover the plant and form a nice backround foil to the blooms and berries.

Of the many varieties available, here are some recommended choices. I will divide them into bloom cluster type so it is easier to find what you might wish to try. (lace cap – large sterile flowers on the edge of the cluster, with fertile small flowers in the middle. The clusters are flattish so you see them all and they give a lacy appearance on the plant.) Snowball clusters have all sterile flowers and form a rounded cluster, similar to snowball shape.

Lacecap cvs:

Fuji is a smaller/lower growing form with wonderful long tabulated branching. Slightly lower to perhaps 6-8 ft.

Igloo is lower growing with a rounded shrub appearance.

Lanarth is larger growing with exceptional beauty. Lacecap white flowers give a grand display.

Mariesii is similar with perhaps a more horizonatal habit of growth.

Fujisanensis/Summer Snowflake is smaller cluster flowered, but it repeats bloom several times during the year. Smaller sized plant, can be kept to 4-5 ft tall with minimal top trimming.

Pink Beauty is pinkish / off white and small clustered. The foliage has bronzy tones, and is a smaller plant.

Molly Shroeder is pinkish as well, perhaps a bit stronger grower.

Shasta is superb with very large sterile flowers and a profuse display on a larger plant to perhaps 10 ft.

St. Keverne is a larger vorm with rounded umbrella like clusters of bloom.

Watanabe/nanum semperflorens is a smaller plant and also repeats blooms during the growing season.

Snowball cvs:

Grandiflorum is larger clustered and white.

Mary Milton/Roseace/Kern’s Pink is pinkish in a warm winter climate and offers bronzy foliage. Sometimes the blossom clusters give white and pink individually mixed blooms in the cluster.

Newport is a dwarf (perhaps 6 ft)with a rounded shrub habit and nice blooming.

Popcorn is very much more heat tolerant than many cvs. and is a profuse bloomer to 10-12 ft.

Triumph is slightly taller than Newport with a bit more of an open shrub habit.

There are more from which to choose, some are very difficult to locate.