Arrowwood viburnum (Viburnun dentatum) is a very common native Frederick County plant that prefers moist, well drained soils and moderately shady or sunny sites. This shrubby plant has multiple stems, and can grow to a height of about 12 feet tall. Arrow wood has an attractive white flower that blooms in late May or early June, and the fruits ripen by September. The seeds of the arrow wood are enclosed in this purple berry that many birds find very tasty. Once the birds consume this berry, the stony seed passes through their digestive system, where it is usually deposited in a roosting area at the edge of the woods. This is an ideal location for the arrow wood that likes partial shade, and can normally be found growing at the woods’ edge.
Uneaten fruits will remain on the shrub, which provide late season food for wildlife. The dense growth patterns, insect and disease resistance, showy flowers, and abundant fall fruits makes this plant ideal for wildlife or ornamental plantings; many cultivars have been developed. The plant gets its name from the straight stalks that Native Americans used for arrows.
Article by FCFCDB member