The Sargent viburnum is a close relative of the native Finnish species Guelder rose, also called European cranberrybush (V. opulus), and is sometimes regarded as its subspecies. The Sargent viburnum is an eastern species whose range stretches from the islands of Japan to Sakhalin, Korea, eastern parts of China, and Russia.
Downy arrow wood resembles in appearance another American viburnum, the southern arrow wood (V. dentatum), both being useful, hardy shrubs. The downy arrow wood’s long leaves are toothed at the edges, with wine-red autumn colour.
The white flowering occurs in June, as with most viburnums. The berries ripen early to black but are not particularly showy. This species could be used more generally in view of its hardiness and moderate size.
The American cranberrybush is from the northern parts of North America. It can be found from the Atlantic seaboard almost across to the Pacific, usually as one of the shrubs under the deciduous forest canopy, where it grows somewhat straggly due to lack of light. In sunnier spots it grows erect and dense.
In 1753 when Linné gave this shrub the specific name opulus it was a reference to the field or hedge maple (Acer campestre), called by the Romans Opulus, which Guelder rose resembles in some ways, for example in the three-lobed leaves. Guelder rose grows naturally in Finland in rich mires and along streams.
Nannyberry is an erect deciduous shrub which can grow into a small tree of about 6m in its native habitat. Two different provenances from Arboretum expeditions have been planted at Mustila, one developing tree-like form, the other remaining low and shrubby.
If you need a fairly tall flowering shrub for a rather dry spot, the wayfaring tree is a good choice. The leaves and dense habit reduce noise, it is resistant to wind and pollution, and needs little attention, making it ideal for many landscaping situations. There are also yellow-leaved (e.g. ‘Aureum’) and variegated varieties on the market.
IOne of the most beautiful of the genus, this viburnum grows naturally on the islands of East Asia. It flowers early in spring, producing white inflorescences with a ring of large sterile flowers surrounding the smaller fertile central ones. Only after flowering do the large round leaves open, reddish and wrinkled but soon changing to deep green. Before falling, they take on carmine autumn colour.
Wild raisin is a variable and attractive viburnum which changes colour throughout the growing season. The leaves open a shiny reddish-bronze in spring, changing to shiny green in summer with fiery shades of orange and wine-red in autumn. The stiff leathery leaves give an exotic impression of being evergreen, but are in fact deciduous.
At the end of May or early in June, near the pool at the foot of Atsalearinne (Azalea Valley), you can see a flowering shrub which hasn’t yet come into leaf, the flowers resembling those of a hydrangea. It doesn’t really look like a viburnum, but that’s what it is.