Wonderful muti-stemmed shrub for gentle sun to shade in any soil (dry is prefered), having clusters of white flowers in early summer followed by oval red fruits which age to purple-black. Birds will enjoy these through the winter. Maple-shaped leaves light to mid green with the undersides covered with black dots turn rich dark crimson in fall. The seeds take 2 years to germinate, then our plants are grown for another 2 years to become salable, so they are priced higher than other viburnums. They transplant best when they are small.
Viburnum acerifolium (Maple-leaf Viburnum or Dockmackie) is native to eastern North America from southwestern Quebec and Ontario south to northern Florida and eastern Texas.
It is a shrub growing to 1-2 m tall. The leaves are in opposite pairs, 5-10 cm long and broad, three- to five-lobed, the lobes with a serrated margin. The flowers are white with five small petals, produced in terminal cymes 4-8 cm diameter. The fruit is a small red to purple drupe 4-8 mm long.
The scientific and common names refer to the superficial similarity of the leaves to those of some maples (Acer); the plant is occasionally mistaken for young maples, but is readily distinguished by the flowers and fruit; the viburnum produces small, purple berries, while maples produce dry, winged fruits (samaras).
Ours are seed grow from locally derived stock. They take 4 years to grow to quart size, from seed. This species is not as affected by the viburnum leaf beetle, if it is present in your area.