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Viburnum farreri

Photo Courtesy of Michael Dirr

Viburnum farreri

Named for collector Reginald Farrer, this 8-10' high and wide species has an upright, rounded, rather open habit.  Nevertheless, its sweet fragrance is well worth the effort.  One of the first viburnums to bloom with extremely fragrant, pinkish-red flower buds opening to pink-white on naked stems.  This early flowering makes it very susceptible to late spring frosts.  Foliage emerges bronzy-green, maturing to dark green.  Fruits are red, oval, and turning black but are seldom seen either due to late spring freezes or the fact that no other related viburnums are blooming at that time.  Zone 5

USDA Hardiness Zone:



Stems with evidence of flower buds can be brought into the house in late winter and forced, releasing a highly fragrant scent that can be enjoyed several feet away.  If kept slightly cool, they will remain open and efferctive for weeks. 

Growing and Maintenance Tips

V. farreri and clones are extremely early to flower, blooming on naked stems.  This early flowering makes them very susceptible to late spring frosts.  For that reason, it is advisable to plant them in a location that does not encourage early spring bud break.  For example, do not plant on the south side of a building where temperatures are prematurely warmer.


8-10 Feet


8-10 Feet

Viburnum farreri Characteristics

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderate to Fast


  • Upright, rounded

Soil Requirements

  • Moist, well drained
  • Acid

Sun Requirements

  • Full Sun to Part Shade

Flowering Season

  • Late March

Fragrant Flowers

  • Yes


  • Sparse
  • Red to black

Native to

  • China