Viburnum Species, Nannyberry, Sheepberry, Blackhaw

Viburnum lentago

Family: Adoxaceae (a-dox-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Viburnum (vy-BUR-num) (Info)
Species: lentago (lent-AH-go) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

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



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


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


Dekalb, Illinois

Hinsdale, Illinois

Poplar Grove, Illinois

Georgetown, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Ely, Minnesota

Isle, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 6, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a good quality native shrub that is mostly clean and neat. It can sucker some. Handsome, shiny, cherry-like leaves about 4" long or more. It often gets hit hard by mildew at the end of the season. If not, it often gets a good red fall color. Long handsome buds and young bark is smooth and shiny. Nice big flattish flower clusters in May bear blue-black fruit that is loved by birds in late summer and early Autumn. Some are sold by a good number of big nurseries so that it is occassionally found in landscapes, but it is not a well-known plant to the general public. Makes a good deciduous screen. Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois has had several specimens in tree form with a single trunk and about 20 feet high.


On Mar 20, 2013, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have seen them only occasionally as a small street tree in the Boston area. The Massachusetts Extension Service lists the lentago among native trees that grow best in the sun. Another common name that is not listed above is Sweet Viburnum. I'd like to know if there is another viburnum that can grow thirty feet tall.


On Jan 28, 2006, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a large shrub/small tree that is best used north of (colder) zone 6. It suffers in the heat/humidity of central KY, and often defoliates in the summer due to powder mildew susceptibility. Viburnum prunifolium and Viburnum rufidulum are much better choices for central KY and south.

Viburnum lentago performs much better north of the Ohio River, and fabulously in the upper midwest tier of states.


On Jul 31, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very adaptable...birds love it.


On Sep 3, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a large,upright,suckering,deciduous shrub which typically grows to 10-18 feet tall with a spread of 6-12 feet.Non-fragrant clusters of white flowers appear in May. Followed by green berries that turn a bluish-black in the fall and often persist into winter.The glossy,green leaves are 1 1/2" wide and up to 4" long.The berries are edible and may be eaten off the bush when ripe or used in jams and jellies.It's not unusual to see birds and other wildlife stopping by for a snack on the berries.Nanny goats apparently feed on the ripe berries(reportedly more so than billy goats),hence the common name.