Viburnum odoratissimum

Photo Courtesy of Michael Dirr

Viburnum odoratissimum

Often confused with V. awabuki to the extent that V. awabuki is being sold as V. odoratissimum 'Awabuki' which is invalid.  V. odoratissimum is not as cold hardy, its leaves are a duller green, and the feature which most distinguishes the two is the fetid green pepper odor of the leaf when crushed.  Even though the habit is dense, sizes range from 10 to 20 feet and greater.  The flowers are creamy white and fragrant and occur in pyramidal panicles in late May and early June.  Fruits are red, maturing to purple-black.  Tolerates heat and drought, adaptable from full sun to deep understory shade and is quite salt tolerant.  Native to northeast India, Southeast Asia, Japan, Taiwan, Java, Philippines, and Celebes.  Zone 8

USDA Hardiness Zone:



15-20 Feet

Viburnum odoratissimum Characteristics

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderate


  • Rounded
  • Dense

Soil Requirements

  • Acid
  • Salt tolerant
  • Moist, well drained

Sun Requirements

  • Full Sun to Part Shade or Full Shade

Flowering Season

  • Mid to late May

Fragrant Flowers

  • Yes


  • Red to purplish-black

Native to

  • Celebes
  • Northeast India
  • Taiwan
  • Java
  • Philippines
  • Southeast Asia
  • Japan

Winter foliage

  • Evergreen