Viburnum Species, Doublefile Viburnum, Japanese Snowball Bush

Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum

Family: Adoxaceae (a-dox-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Viburnum (vy-BUR-num) (Info)
Species: plicatum var. tomentosum
Synonym:Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum
Synonym:Viburnum tomentosum



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


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

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:

Arroyo Grande, California

Pensacola, Florida

Calhoun, Georgia

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Clermont, Kentucky

Frankfort, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Nicholasville, Kentucky

Paris, Kentucky

Versailles, Kentucky

Silver Spring, Maryland

East Lansing, Michigan

Manchester, New Hampshire

Jamesburg, New Jersey

East Amherst, New York

New Hyde Park, New York

North Tonawanda, New York

Charlotte, North Carolina

Hayesville, North Carolina

West Chester, Ohio

Lake Oswego, Oregon

Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Summerville, South Carolina

Lebanon, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Manassas, Virginia

Oakton, Virginia

Anacortes, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 4, 2011, Okyo from Manassas, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is one of the most beautifullest plants in my garden have 2 very large plants about 8 to 10 feet tall in the middle of my yard. It adds color all year long & the birds appreciate the food in the winter. I currently have about 4 very large plants about 2 feet tall to trade if any one is interesed (10/04/2011).


On Apr 3, 2011, robsa from Berwyn, PA wrote:

This plant is virtually indestructible. I've dug out it's plant/roots and tossed them on creek banks and it took. I've thrown them on hillsides and it grows. I've given shoots to my daughter who forgot to plant them for a couple of weeks. They survived, then thrived. These aren't the best ways to treat a plant but it seems not to care. They need some sunlight, but not a lot. The blooms are beautiful in the spring. They can be pruned almost any time. They will get woody/nasty if you don't remove old growth, but the shoots that start from surfacing roots or branches that touch the ground and root, will start new plants around the periphery of the main plant. I'm in zone 6b and the soil is a bit acidic. Hollytone is a good idea.


On Apr 18, 2010, roijo from Lawrenceville, GA wrote:

Love this plant! There are NO problems. I trimmed my three to be small trees. Lawrenceville, GA


On Aug 2, 2009, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Doublefile viburnum is truly one of the most beautiful species of viburnums, especially where it can be grown well. As has been stated by others here (as well as on numerous forum entries), the plethora of lacecap white or pink blooms marching in pairs down the stems and the iridescent fruit display when an adequate cross-pollinator is provided is difficult to match by most woody shrubs.

The key is to provide relatively even moisture during hot dry periods. If you don't provide supplemental watering then, Doublefile viburnum will turn on you with dogeared foliage and burnt leaf tips that stay with the plant the rest of the summer. That is, if it doesn't just die outright for spite. If you never have that deficiency as a problem, then Doublefile viburnum should knock your... read more


On Aug 26, 2005, flowercrazy39 from Manchester, NH wrote:

I'm changing my description for this tree but not the rating. It's gotten pretty big this last year and had some flowers on it. Maybe it's slow to flower. More every year. Love it though! Full and green and lush and just looks beautiful!


On Jul 3, 2004, darius from So.App.Mtns.,
United States (Zone 5b) wrote:

My neighbor has a whole hedge of these in his backyard. They grow wider (up to 11 feet) than tall (6 feet) with a very horizontal shape, and in full sun in zone 6b. In warmer zones, they may need some shade.

The spring white flowers are lacecap but not fragrant. Fruits following flowers are bright red drupes in Juy, becoming black in August, and birds love them.

Medium growth with moderate moisture in well-drained soil.

Developed by The National Arboretum.


On Jan 27, 2002, Copperbaron from Vicksburg, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

One of the most beautiful flowering shrubs in the plant kingdom. I think of it as the shrub equivalent to the dogwood - possibly prettier. This medium sized, deciduous, multistemmed shrub is native to Japan. It is 8'-10' tall but much wider, which is one of its appeals. The horizontal branching gives it a layered appearance. The flower clusters are up to 4" in diameter composed of showy infertile flowers and unshowy fertile flowers that bloom in May. The fruits are red maturing to black in August and are loved by birds.

The doublefile viburnum should be grown in full sun to partial shade (shade is highly recommended in the southeast as it is prone to leaf scorching in our sun and heat). It prefers moist, well drained soil, but is very adaptable. It is used for shrub ... read more