Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: warm stratify for 180 days, cold stratify for 90 days
Germination: sow seed 1/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed
Introducing Viburnum x rhytidophylloides Lantanaphyllum Viburnum, a stunning ornamental shrub that is a cross between V. lantana and V. rhytidophyllum. This shrub features creamy white flowers in 4" flat-topped clusters that bloom in spring, followed by red fruit that turns black when ripe. With its leathery dark green foliage, this viburnum is adaptable and can handle heat, although it prefers a protected site. It is also easy to root from cuttings, making it a beloved choice among gardeners.
In terms of culture, this viburnum thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers moist, well-drained soils of average fertility. However, it is also adaptable to poor soils, compacted soils, and soils of various pH levels. It can withstand dry soils, drought, pollution, and heat. This viburnum is propagated by rooted stem cuttings and belongs to the Honeysuckle Family, with no serious pest or disease problems, except for occasional cosmetic leaf spot.
The foliage of this viburnum is dark green above and pale white-green underneath. It is leathery, thick, and has a rough texture with sunken veins above, while the large veins underneath have a reticulate branching pattern. The leaves are opposite, narrowly ovate to oblong, and lightly serrated or entire. In the fall, the foliage turns dark green before slowly abscising. During the winter, the foliage remnants become wind-burned, leading to a less attractive brown-green color.
The flowers of this viburnum are green-cream, creamy-white, or cream-brown in flat-topped inflorescences that can reach up to 4" in diameter. They bloom in late April and early May and are present for about two weeks. Although these flowers are large, they are not overly showy. The floral buds are set by mid-summer and may sporadically open in late summer and early autumn.
As for the fruits, they start green and transition to red before maturing to black in late August and early September. The fruits are arranged in flat-topped clusters that can persist into winter. While the fruits can be attractive, their set is often sparse or non-existent. Reliable fruit set requires a mixture of cross-pollinating shrubs from one or both parents in close proximity.
The twigs of this viburnum emerge green-white and change to noticeable orange-brown by winter. The winter buds are large, with floral buds being prominent terminal knobs and vegetative buds being elongated and naked. The lateral buds are smaller than the terminal buds.
Typically, the trunk of this viburnum is strongly multi-stemmed to multi-trunked and bold-textured. The heavy branches only slightly arch with age, and old leggy trunks are supplemented with rapidly-growing basal suckers.
Lantanaphyllum Viburnum is a large, semi-evergreen, broadleaved ornamental shrub that matures at about 12' tall by 12' wide, although it can sometimes grow larger. It has an upright columnar growth habit in youth, which becomes more rounded and spreading with age. The growth rate of this viburnum is medium to rapid.
In terms of usage, Lantanaphyllum Viburnum can be used as a formal or informal hedge, border, entranceway, spacious foundation, or utilitarian shrub. Its bold texture in foliage makes it a standout choice. It is best displayed when in summer foliage, which is leathery, dense, and dark green. This shrub is also urban tolerant and boasts vigorous growth.
While Lantanaphyllum Viburnum has many assets, including outstanding summer foliage, striking bold texture, and semi-showy flowers and fruits, it also has a few liabilities. The semi-evergreen foliage can be tattered, wind-burned, and unattractive throughout much of the winter. The inflorescences are often not showy and can frequently be frostbitten in late April. Fruit set is often poor to non-existent, and the shrub tends to get out-of-bounds due to its vigorous growth. As it ages, it can become leggy, although this is partially hidden by the basal suckers.
Viburnum x rhytidophylloides is a hardy shrub that thrives in zones 4 to 8. It is the result of crossing Wayfaringtree Viburnum (Viburnum lantana) and Leatherleaf Viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum). It is often confused with its parent, Wayfaringtree Viburnum, but it has a more rounded growth habit, different foliage, inflorescences that bloom at a slightly different time, and less pubescent mature stems.
In conclusion, Viburnum x rhytidophylloides Lantanaphyllum Viburnum is a stunning, semi-evergreen shrub with creamy white flowers, attractive dark green foliage, and versatile usage. Its adaptability and ease of propagation make it an excellent choice for any garden.