All About Growing the Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum

Also known as rusty blackhaw, Southern blackhaw, or downy viburnum, the rusty blackhaw viburnum is a member of the honeysuckle family. It is native to the United States and is botanically called Viburnum rufidulum.

Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum Description

Growing to 18 feet tall, this perennial shrub or tree has separating bark that goes in dark plates. There are red-brown twigs with a light gray coating. Leaves are paired, deciduous, and oval to ovate in shape. They are dark green and turn many different colors in the fall season. Flowers are white and in clusters, blooming from April to May. The fruits are fleshy, blue-black, and have a waxy coating.

Growing Guide

It prefers to grow in partial shade with a dry soil. It is cold tolerant. It is slow to grow. It is hard to propagate, but you can through seeds or semi-hardwood cuttings. Cuttings should take in the fall, however, rooting is slow. Seeds will need stratification if you are going to store them.


You can find the rusty blackhaw viburnum in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. It is found in thickets, stream banks, river banks, and open woodlands.


The nectar is good for attracting bees, butterflies, and insects. The fruit will attract birds and mammals. The tree itself makes for a good showy understory tree.

With the separating plates of bark, the fall foliage, and the interesting and showy flowers, the rusty blackhaw viburnum makes for a good shrub or tree for the landscape. It is good for attracting birds, so it makes a nice porch or patio tree.

Source: NPIN

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