Linden Viburnum (Viburnum Dilatatum)

Plant: Table of Contents

All About Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum)


Linden viburnum, scientifically known as Viburnum dilatatum, is a beautiful and versatile shrub that has a wide range of uses in landscaping and horticulture. This plant is valued for its attractive foliage, vibrant berries, and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various aspects of linden viburnum, including its culture, uses, maintenance, propagation, and common diseases. Whether you are a gardening enthusiast, landscape designer, or a botany enthusiast, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to understand and cultivate linden viburnum effectively.

What is Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum)?


Linden viburnum is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the Adoxaceae family. It is native to East Asia, including Japan, Korea, and China. This shrub typically grows to a height of 6-10 feet and spreads to form a rounded, dense shape. The leaves of linden viburnum are glossy dark green, with a serrated edge, and turn attractive shades of red and orange in the autumn.

The most striking feature of linden viburnum, however, is its abundant clusters of bright red berries that adorn the plant in late summer, providing a vibrant display that lasts well into the winter months. Apart from its ornamental features, linden viburnum also serves as an important food source for birds and other wildlife.

Key Takeaways – Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum)

Before delving deeper into the details of linden viburnum, let’s take a quick look at the key takeaways regarding this impressive shrub.

  • Scientific Name: Viburnum dilatatum
  • Common Names: Linden viburnum, linden arrowwood
  • Type: Deciduous shrub
  • Native to: East Asia
  • Height: 6-10 feet
  • Foliage: Glossy dark green, turning red and orange in autumn
  • Berries: Abundant clusters of bright red berries
  • Wildlife Attraction: Attracts birds and other wildlife

Now that we have a basic understanding of linden viburnum, let’s explore the various facets of caring for and cultivating this remarkable plant.



Linden viburnum is prized for its versatility and aesthetic appeal, making it a popular choice for both ornamental and practical purposes in landscaping. Here are some of its primary uses:

  • Ornamental Feature: The vibrant berries and attractive foliage make linden viburnum an excellent choice for adding visual interest to gardens and landscapes. It can be used as a standalone specimen, in group plantings, or as a hedge or screen.
  • Wildlife Habitat: The berries of linden viburnum attract birds and other wildlife, making it a valuable addition to wildlife gardens or naturalized areas.
  • Erosion Control: Due to its dense growth habit, linden viburnum can be used to stabilize slopes and prevent soil erosion.
  • Windbreak: The dense foliage of linden viburnum makes it effective as a windbreak, providing protection to more delicate plants and creating a sheltered microclimate.
  • Medicinal and Culinary Uses: In traditional medicine, certain parts of linden viburnum have been used for their medicinal properties. The berries are also utilized to make jams and jellies.


Linden viburnum has moderate water needs, requiring regular watering, especially during dry periods. However, it is essential to ensure that the soil is well-draining to prevent waterlogging, which can be detrimental to the plant’s health. Once established, linden viburnum is relatively drought-tolerant, but regular watering is still recommended for optimal growth and berry production.


Linden viburnum thrives in full sun to partial shade. While it can tolerate a range of light conditions, it prefers a location with at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight each day to promote abundant flowering and fruiting. In regions with intense afternoon sun, providing some afternoon shade can prevent the foliage from scorching.


When it comes to fertilizing linden viburnum, a balanced, slow-release fertilizer formulated for shrubs and trees is ideal. Apply the fertilizer in early spring before new growth begins, following the manufacturer’s recommendations for the application rate. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive vegetative growth at the expense of berry production.


Linden viburnum thrives in well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral soil. A loamy, fertile soil enriched with organic matter is ideal for promoting healthy growth and abundant berry production. Additionally, ensuring proper soil moisture and aeration is essential for the overall well-being of the plant.


Proper pruning is essential for maintaining the health, shape, and vigor of linden viburnum. Here are some key considerations when pruning linden viburnum:

  • Timing: Prune linden viburnum during late winter or early spring, before the onset of new growth.
  • Dead or Diseased Wood: Remove any dead or diseased wood to promote air circulation and prevent the spread of diseases.
  • Selective Pruning: Thin out crowded branches to improve light penetration and air circulation within the canopy.
  • Size Control: While linden viburnum has a naturally rounded shape, it can be pruned to maintain a desired size or shape. However, excessive pruning can impact flower and berry production, so it is essential to exercise restraint.
  • Pruning After Flowering: If the shrub is being grown for its flowers and berries, prune immediately after flowering to avoid cutting off the next season’s blooms and fruit.


Linden viburnum can be propagated through various methods, including seeds, cuttings, and layering. Here are the primary propagation methods for linden viburnum:

  • Seed Propagation: Collect ripe berries in the fall and remove the pulp to extract the seeds. Sow the seeds in a well-draining, moist seed-starting mix and keep them consistently moist until germination occurs.
  • Softwood Cuttings: Take softwood cuttings in late spring to early summer, selecting healthy, non-flowering shoots. Dip the cut ends in a rooting hormone and plant them in a well-draining rooting medium. Provide bottom heat and maintain high humidity to encourage root formation.
  • Layering: Air layering or simple layering can be used to propagate linden viburnum by inducing root formation on a stem while it is still attached to the parent plant. Once roots have developed, the new plant can be separated and potted up.

Container Popularity

Linden viburnum is well-suited for container cultivation, making it an excellent choice for patio gardens, urban spaces, and other areas with limited planting space. Its compact size, attractive foliage, and colorful berries make it an appealing option for container gardening. However, it is important to select a large enough container to accommodate the plant’s mature size and provide adequate room for root development.

Common Diseases

Disease Diagnosis

While linden viburnum is relatively resistant to diseases, it can be susceptible to certain issues under unfavorable growing conditions. Common diseases that may affect linden viburnum include:

  • Powdery Mildew: A fungal disease that manifests as a powdery, white coating on the leaves, causing them to become distorted and discolored.
  • Leaf Spot: Characterized by the formation of dark, irregular spots on the foliage, often leading to premature leaf drop.
  • Anthracnose: A fungal infection that causes dark, sunken lesions on leaves, stems, and fruits, potentially leading to dieback.

Common Pests

Linden viburnum is generally resistant to severe pest infestations, but it may still be targeted by certain pests, including:

  • Aphids: These small, sap-sucking insects can cluster on the undersides of leaves, causing yellowing, distortion, and a sticky residue known as honeydew.
  • Scale Insects: Armored or soft scale insects may attach themselves to the stems and leaves of linden viburnum, feeding on plant sap and excreting honeydew.
  • Japanese Beetles: These voracious feeders can skeletonize the foliage of linden viburnum, causing extensive damage if left unchecked.

Botanist’s Tips

As a plant scientist, I’d like to share some valuable tips for caring for linden viburnum based on its specific characteristics and requirements:

  • Promote Air Circulation: To minimize the risk of fungal diseases, ensure that linden viburnum is planted in a location with good air circulation, and avoid overhead watering whenever possible.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of linden viburnum to retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and provide a gradual release of nutrients as the mulch breaks down.
  • Monitor for Pests: Regularly inspect the foliage and stems of linden viburnum for signs of pest activity, and take prompt action to control any infestations using eco-friendly pest management methods.

Fun Facts

Here are some intriguing and lesser-known facts about linden viburnum:

  • The species name “dilatatum” refers to the wide, expanded shape of the leaf blades.
  • Linden viburnum is a valuable plant for creating a wildlife-friendly garden, attracting birds that feed on its berries.
  • In addition to its ornamental and wildlife-attracting qualities, certain parts of linden viburnum have been used in traditional medicine for their purported medicinal properties.

Links to External Resources

For additional information on linden viburnum, its cultivation, and uses, you can explore the following external resources:


Linden viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum) is an exceptional shrub that offers a host of practical and aesthetic benefits in a variety of landscape settings. From its striking foliage and vibrant berries to its resilience and wildlife-attracting qualities, linden viburnum is a valuable addition to gardens, naturalized areas, and urban landscapes. By understanding its culture, maintenance needs, and potential challenges, you can confidently cultivate and enjoy the many attributes of this remarkable plant. Whether you are seeking a versatile ornamental shrub, a wildlife-friendly addition to your garden, or a reliable plant for erosion control, linden viburnum stands out as an excellent choice with numerous appealing attributes.

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.