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Quail-Friendly Plants of the Midwest

Viburnum

  • Viburnum spp.
  • Arrowwood, Blackhaw, Nannyberry

Woody

Summer coverEscape coverFood
Viburnums are good for cover

Dense branches and foliage make viburnums good for cover, especially where they occur in thickets.

USDA-NRCS North Dakota State Soil Conservation Committee


 

White flowers of viburnum

White flowers occur atop dense, flat-topped panicles. Leaves are opposite and toothed.

©Ted Bodner, USDA-NRCS Plants Database

Viburnun leaves

At least 10 species of viburnum are known to occur in the Midwest, on habitats ranging from dry, rocky woods to rich, moist valleys.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation

Description

In the Midwest, many species of viburnum grow as shrubs or small trees with branching crowns. Flowers are borne in dense, flat-topped panicles that produce many red to bluish black, berrylike fruits in fall. The leaves are opposite and turn brilliant shades of deep rose-purple to rose-red or bright red in fall. Viburnums occur throughout the Midwest, sometimes in thickets, in association with rocky or dry woods, glades and rich, moist valleys along streams.

Bloom period

April to June

Use by bobwhites

Viburnum fruits are eaten by many birds. Thickets near streams may provide quail relief from summer heat. The seeds persist through winter and may provide a valuable food source for quail when other foods become scarce. The combination of its food and cover values for quail and its aesthetic, visual qualities make viburnums an attractive plant in quail habitat projects.

Mature fruit
Mature fruits are red to bluish black, depending on the species.

USDA-NRCS North Dakota State Soil Conservation Committee
 

MP903, new May 2008

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MP903 Quail-Friendly Plants of the Midwest | Page 56 | University of Missouri Extension