Plants We Love: Korean Spice Viburnum

April 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Korean spice viburnumNow that Spring has arrived, we’re enjoying the site and scent of Korean spice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii). A deciduous shrub, Korean spice viburnum grows to between 4 and 6 feet tall, and just as wide. The show begins in early spring, when the plant begins to reveal pink buds. Once bloomed, the plant features bunches of white flower buds which are notable for their strong fragrance. Later, in summer, the plant develops red berries which mature to a darker brownish hue in fall just as the leaves turn to their red (and later purple) fall color.

Korean spice viburnum is well suited for planting here in the Mid-Atlantic region. It likes full sun to partial shade and moist, but well drained, ground. There are six different cultivars of this plant, including some smaller varieties appropriate where space is at a premium.

Because they are unusually fragrant, we like to use Korean spice viburnum near entryways and windows, or as foundation shrubs, where passersby and building occupants can appreciate their scent. They are also a great addition to any property looking to attract wild birds, as their berries are a sought after food source.