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Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum Doublefile Viburnum

Photo Courtesy of Michael Dirr

Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum

Doublefile Viburnum

Grows 8-10' high with a slightly wider spread due to its horizontal branching habit.  This tiered habit makes it a desirable element to softern vertical features and upright plants forms.  Flowers are white, non-fragrant, 2-4" flat-topped cymes in May.  Inflorescences are held 2" above the foliage making it quite effective as it travels the entire length of the branch.  An outer ring of large sterile flowers surround smaller fertile flowers in the center which produce bright red drupes changing to black.  Fall color is reddish-purple.  Confusion exists in the trade when catalogs list it as Japanese Snowball since that name should be reserved for f. plicatum types.  Can prove quite handsome in winter with clean grayish-brown branches and its horizontal habit.  Habit and flowers are not effected when planted in the understory.  The species and its cultivars do not perform well when exposed to extreme heat and prolonged drought.  Native to China, Taiwan, and Japan.  Introduced around 1865.  Zone 5 

USDA Hardiness Zone:



The common name 'Doublefile Viburnum' comes from the arrangement of the flowers (inflorescence) that extend the entire length of the branch in two opposite rows (doublefile).

Doublefile Viburnum Growing and Maintenance Tips

Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum and its cultivars are extremely shade tolerant and benefit from mulching to keep the roots cool and for moisture retention. 


8-10 Feet


10 Feet

Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum Characteristics

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderate


  • Horizontally spreading
  • Horizontally tiered

Soil Requirements

  • Acid
  • Moist, well drained

Sun Requirements

  • Full Sun to Part Shade

Fall Color

  • Reddish-purple

Flowering Season

  • Mid to late May

Fragrant Flowers

  • No


  • Red to black
  • Persistant if not eaten by birds
  • Abundant and showy

Native to

  • China
  • Taiwan
  • Japan

Winter foliage

  • Deciduous