Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Leatherleaf Viburnum
Viburnum rhytidophyllum

Family: Adoxaceae (a-dox-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Viburnum (vy-BUR-num) (Info)
Species: rhytidophyllum (ry-ti-do-FIL-um) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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4 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral nrandel On Feb 19, 2011, nrandel from Dublin, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:

My wife had a landscapest plant leatherleaf in back of the pond (his recommendation) to give a privacy shade from the apartment complexes behind them. There are times when I need to get behind them or work around them; so, a long sleeve shirt, bandana around the neck, blue jeans, gloves, and face mask are needed. The shrub gives off this brown dust all year round and it is nasty! There are better shrubs than this viburnum. My advise is plant leatherleaf away from the house where you can see it but don't have to be around it.

Positive warren_cascade On Nov 16, 2008, warren_cascade from Vancouver, WA wrote:

I'm wondering if anyone knows of it's edibility?

Positive ncdirtdigger On Feb 6, 2008, ncdirtdigger from Waxhaw, NC wrote:

I have grown this plant in dry heavy shade. It flowers nicely, is pretty much evergreen and the leaves are a greyish green. Pretty much trouble free

Positive rainbowtoad On Aug 29, 2004, rainbowtoad from Wichita Falls, TX wrote:

I've had great luck with this shrub in heavy shade. It takes little water, and actually re-bloomed for me this year. It has been leaf persistant for the past two winters. I have yet to see any fruiting.

Positive saddlebacker On May 27, 2003, saddlebacker from Lexington, MA wrote:

This is my favorite Viburnum. It has had no pest problems even though my V. sieboldii have gotten borers and most of my tea viburnums succumbed to some kind of black fungal growth. I have two distinct clones, one of which loses its leaves cleanly in the winter. The other holds its leaves into the following spring, so that it looks a bit messy until the new leaves grow. It also tolerates a good deal of shade and drought. I have some plants that I propagated by layering and that are growing under a huge maple. They're leggy, but they manage to hold on and even flower where most plants would not.

Neutral Copperbaron On Jan 29, 2002, Copperbaron from Vicksburg, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

The leatherleaf viburnum is a large evergreen shrub to 15' or taller native to western China. It has an upright habit that opens with age. Fragran, showy, yellowish-white flowers in clusters 4"-8" across appear in mid-May. The fruit is exceptional, ripening in September from red maturing to black and each cluster can contain all colors at the same time. Best fruiting occurs when several cloes are planted together.

The leatherleaf viburnum prefers well drained soil protected from wind, is shade tolerant, and responds well to pruning. It is useful in mass plantings, for flowers and fruit, and as a bird attractant, and has few insect or disease problems. It can be propogated by cuttins and by seed.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Marietta, Georgia
Lisle, Illinois
Macomb, Illinois
Frankfort, Indiana
Catonsville, Maryland
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Lexington, Massachusetts
Royal Oak, Michigan
Saint Robert, Missouri
Scotch Plains, New Jersey
Millbrook, New York
Oyster Bay, New York
Grove City, Ohio
Boalsburg, Pennsylvania
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Richland, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Wichita Falls, Texas
Centreville, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Oakton, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Concrete, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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