Doublefile viburnum or Japanese snowball viburnum, Viburnum plicatum var. plicatum, produces 2 to 3 inch wide showy, snowball-type clusters of white flowers in spring. A dense, upright, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with somewhat horizontal branching that grows 8 to 12 feet high. Dark green leaves are strongly-veined, toothed, with pleated upper surfaces. Leaves turn a burgundy red to purplish red in fall. Although this shrub is well suited for the Midwestern landscape it can occasionally winter kill to the ground.
This profile page also covers Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum. The difference is V. plicatum var. plicatum flowers are snowball-type flower clusters and bloom 2 to 3 weeks later than V. plicatum var tomentosum, which has a ring of large, sterile flowers surrounding a large center of small, fertile flowers.
- Family (English) Elderberry
- Family (botanic) Adoxaceae
- Tree or plant type Shrub
- Native locale Non-native
- Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
- Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7
- Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
- Tolerances Alkaline soil, Occasional drought
- Season of interest mid spring, late spring, early fall, mid fall
- Flower color and fragrance White
- Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Round, Upright
- Growth rate Moderate