Viburnum Species, 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)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

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:

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


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

, (2 reports)

Marietta, Georgia

Lisle, Illinois

Macomb, Illinois

Frankfort, Indiana

Catonsville, Maryland

Centreville, 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 26, 2015, growin from Beautiful, BC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've never really been fond of this plant but today, I have reason to really dislike it. I was asked to prune a large plant and remove bloom heads from last year. I started sneazing endlessly, it got in my eyes, I started itching all over, got dizzy, felt sick and had to race home and shower. Obviously I'm allergic to this one. There are better Viburnums and shrubs than this one.


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.


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

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


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


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.


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.


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.