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Viburnum awabuki

Photo Courtesy of Michael Dirr

Viburnum awabuki

Much confusion exists in the trade as to the taxonomic designation for V. awabuki.  Most often, it is listed as a selection of V. odoratissimum, however mature plants have no growth characteristics similar to V. odoratissimum, nor do the crushed leaves have the fowl, feted odor.  V. odoratissimum has smooth-barked branches and thin leaves, whereas V. awabuki has lenticeled branches and thick leaves, therefore it should be maintained as a legitimate species.  The leaves are evergreen, narrow and elliptic, 3-7" long and ½-2" wide, extremely thick, and very glossy on the upper surface.  The foliage of V. awabuki is so stunning that its the primary reason this plant is utilized.  Flowers are white and fragrant, appearing in June.  The red fruit is sparse as the species is primarily self-sterile and requires cross pollination.  An excellent choice for screening or a bold specimen in the landscape.  This species is very shade tolerant and exhibits good drought tolerance once well extablished.  Zone 7

USDA Hardiness Zone:



15-20 Feet


10-15 Feet

Viburnum awabuki Characteristics

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderate to Fast


  • Upright, rounded

Soil Requirements

  • Moist, well drained
  • Acid
  • Drought tolerant

Sun Requirements

  • Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Shade tolerant

Fall Color

  • None

Flowering Season

  • Early to mid June

Fragrant Flowers

  • Yes


  • Sparse
  • Red

Native to

  • Eastern China
  • Taiwan
  • Japan
  • Korea

Winter foliage

  • Evergreen