David’s viburnum is a year-round evergreen with white flowers in spring and berries in autumn. (Richie Steffen)

David’s viburnum is a year-round evergreen with white flowers in spring and berries in autumn. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Viburnum davidii aka David’s viburnum

This spreading shurb is a year-round evergreen with white flowers in spring and berries in autumn.

What: This low-growing viburnum is noted for its deeply veined, leathery evergreen leaves that provide distinctive textural contrast for other garden plants. Planted at the front of a bed, Viburnum davidii creates a horizontal plane of dark leaves that display flat-topped clusters of tiny white flowers. If different clones of this species are mixed (not an easy proposition as they are usually grown from cuttings), multitudes of metallic blue berries develop from the flowers. This native of western China is an accomodating plant, adaptable to a variety of tough conditions. Because of this, its greatest shortcoming is overfamiliarity due to its presence in many gardens and green spaces. Nevertheless it shouldn’t be overlooked as a handsome evergreen shrub with unique foliar and floral interest.

Where: This tough evergreen shrub grows best in full sun to dappled shade. It prefers well-drained soil, but will tolerate sandy sites or clay if the drainage is adequate.

Size: The shrub will grow to be 5 feet tall and spread to a width of 6 feet when mature.

Care: David’s viburnum is drought tolerant once established, but flowering will be more profuse if it receives occasional water during dry weather. Little pruning is needed to maintain an attractive plant.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Pick

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