Viburnum macrocephalum Chinese Snowball Viburnum

Viburnum macrocephalum

Chinese Snowball Viburnum

A dense, rounded shrub growing 8-10' high, but much larger in the south.  Introduced by Robert Fortune in 1844.  The most spectacular of the viburnums when in bloom, being the largest of the "snowball' viburnums.  The flowers are apple green at first, turning to white in mid May.  They are non-fragrant and born in massive hemispherical cymes up to 8" across.  Most often identified by passersby as a hydrangea.  Extremely showy but requires a protected location and well drained soil.  From our personal experience, our plants are growing in full sun and exposed to all of the wind, heat, and cold that Nebraska has to offer and they have never failed to impress.  It does not like wet, soggy soils.  Does not fruit as the flowers are sterile.  We have yet to experience any fall color other then the leaves will turn yellow for a very short time and then drop.  Zone 5

USDA Hardiness Zone:



This is the garden form of V. macrocephalum whereas V. macrocephalum f. keteleeri is considered the wild form.


8-10 Feet


8-10 Feet

Viburnum macrocephalum Characteristics

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderate


  • Rounded

Soil Requirements

  • Intolerant of wet sites
  • Acid
  • Moist, well drained

Sun Requirements

  • Full Sun

Fall Color

  • None

Flowering Season

  • Mid to late May

Fragrant Flowers

  • No


  • No

Native to

  • China