These flowering shrubs are fairly easy to recognize with their round flower clusters of white (rarely pink) blooms all over the plant. They are conspicuous bloomers in mid spring. The plants are known botanically as Viburnums, more specifially V. opulus ‘Roseum (‘Sterile’) the most common form. (a selection of the European native species.) This shrub has maple like leaves, grows to 15-18 ft and covers itself in abundant flower clusters. There is also good fall color. Easy care, keep an eye out for aphids which can disfigure new growth. V. macrocephalum ‘Sterile’, the Chinese snowball with very large clusters on a plant to perhaps 15-20 ft in time. This one is rare and very spectacular. Blossoms cover the plant in spring, and very often there is a good fall repeat bloom. This is easy to grow, but is rare and difficult to locate due to propagation problems. V. plicatum is the Japanese snowball. This is likely the best of the group with the neatest and most notable growth habit. The plant grows in horizontal tiers up to perhaps 15-18 ft. Snowball clusters form all along the branches in two ranks due to the opposite foliage arrangement and branching. There are several cvs. available. None are common, which is unusual since the plant is virtually no maintenance, of easy care, and is one of the finest ornamentals that can be planted. ‘Newport’ is dwarf, perhaps 6 x 6 ft, Popcorn is larger, at least 8 x 8 and is a strong grower with profuse blooming. Mary Milton and Roseace/Kerns Pink are pink forms, rare, and choice with their pink blossom clusters and bronzy foliage.
These all like full sun with regular watering. Feed the plant if soil is poor, any good well balanced fertilizer will give good results. Plant in well drained soil and in sun to shade(more sun, more flowers, but also more water needs.) These are viritually low maintenance plants, plant them and forget them, but do allow for mature size dimensions. You can plant annuals, perennials in between to give color in the open space around the plant until they mature.