Content Detail

Maple-leaved viburnum is a native, medium-sized under-story shrub, preferring shade and part shade conditions. It makes it a great option for naturalizing in shady areas. The creamy-white, flat-topped flowers in May, black fruit in fall that persists into winter, and excellent pink to dark burgundy fall color add year-round interest.

This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.  

  • Family (English) Elderberry
  • Family (botanic) Adoxaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Small shrub (3-5 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites
  • Season of interest mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Round, Thicket-forming
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size & Form:

A loose, open, colony-forming shrub reaching 4 to 6 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide.

Native geographic location and habitat:

C-Value: 9. Commonly found on forests ridges, slopes, and low areas. It is native to the eastern and midwestern United States. 

Bark color and texture:

This shrub has smooth gray bark with prominent lenticels.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Leaves are opposite, simple, and 5 inches long. They are generally three-lobed, maple-like shapes. Fall color varies from yellow to pink to red to purple.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Flowers are creamy white and five-petaled, borne in an upright, flat-topped to slightly domed cluster that blooms in May.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Black fruit appears in the fall and persists into winter.


Plant care:

A shade-loving shrub that grows best naturalizing as an understory shrub. It prefers loamy, organic, and well-drained soils. It may be difficult to locate in nurseries. 

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Aphids, scale, and borers are potential problems. Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.


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