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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENETICS, GENETIC RESOURCE EVALUATION, AND GENETIC IMPROVEMENT OF LANDSCAPE TREES AND SHRUBS Title: 'Cree' and 'Nantucket' Viburnum

Author
item Pooler, Margaret

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 2, 2010
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/48477
Citation: Pooler, M.R. 2010. 'Cree' and 'Nantucket' Viburnum. HortScience. 45:1384-1385.

Interpretive Summary: Viburnums are versatile shrubs that have become a mainstay of American landscapes for their showy and often fragrant spring blooms, richly colored sometimes evergreen foliage, and persistent winter fruit. Valued as a tough shrub that can tolerate various environmental stresses, over three million viburnums are sold annually in the United States with a wholesale value of over $22 million. The viburnum breeding program at the U.S. National Arboretum has resulted in the release of 20 viburnum cultivars including the latest two, ‘Cree’ and ‘Nantucket’, described here. ‘Cree’, a selection of Viburnum rhytidophyllum, is an evergreen, fairly upright multi-stemmed, coarse-textured shrub that reached a height of 2.5 m and a width of 2 m in 12 years of growth in Washington, D.C. White to cream-colored flowers are 8-10 cm in diameter and appear in mid-May in Washington, D.C. Red fruit ripen to near black and can persist into winter. ‘Nantucket’, a hybrid between V. ‘Eskimo’ and V. macrocephalum f. keteleeri, is a semi-evergreen upright, relatively compact shrub that has reached a height of 4 m and a width of 2 m in 16 years of growth in Washington, D.C. White branched inflorescences are 10-13 cm in diameter and appear in mid-May in Washington, D.C. Fruit ripen from red to black, although fruit set is generally light. Both cultivars work well in the landscape as a single specimen plant, an evergreen hedge, in a mass planting, or as a backdrop in the shrub border.

Technical Abstract: Viburnums comprise a diverse genus with approximately 160 species and taxa found primarily in the northern temperate regions of the Americas, Europe, and Asia. They are versatile shrubs that have become a mainstay of American landscapes for their showy and often fragrant spring blooms, richly colored sometimes evergreen foliage, and persistent winter fruit. Valued as a tough shrub that can tolerate various environmental stresses, over three million viburnums are sold annually in the United States with a wholesale value of over $22 million. The viburnum breeding program at the U.S. National Arboretum was begun in the 1950s by the late Donald R. Egolf with the objectives of developing improved viburnum cultivars using diverse parental material that had a combination of fragrant and colored flowers, small stature, evergreen or brilliantly colored fall foliage, and showy fruit. This program has resulted in the release of 20 viburnum cultivars including the latest two, ‘Cree’ and ‘Nantucket’, described here. ‘Cree’, a selection of Viburnum rhytidophyllum, is an evergreen, fairly upright multi-stemmed, coarse-textured shrub that reached a height of 2.5 m and a width of 2 m in 12 years of growth in Washington, D.C. White to cream-colored flowers appear on flattened cymes 8-10 cm in diameter in mid-May in Washington, D.C. Red fruit (drupes) ripen to near black and can persist into winter. ‘Nantucket’, a hybrid between V. ‘Eskimo’ and V. macrocephalum f. keteleeri, is a semi-evergreen upright, relatively compact shrub that has reached a height of 4 m and a width of 2 m in 16 years of growth in Washington, D.C. White branched inflorescences, containing sterile florets around the margin and interspersed in the inflorescence, are 10-13 cm in diameter and appear in mid-May in Washington, D.C. Fruit ripen from red to black, although fruit set is generally light. Both cultivars are readily propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings, and both work well in the landscape as a single specimen plant, an evergreen hedge, in a mass planting, or as a backdrop in the shrub border.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014