Viburnum Nudum ‘Brandywine’ and ‘Winterthur’

The page in the catalog was so enticing, showing several Viburnum ssp. loaded with colorful berries (drupes). Who could resist that temptation when there was a blank, sunny space in between the Yellow/White Garden and the Black Garden that needed planting? There was to be a sort of berry-filled hedge to divide the two color themed garden beds. The emphasis was to be on wildlife, the allure of the fruits was undeniable for birds and human enjoyment, so was the thinking. We needed some winter interest. Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur’, Viburnum dentatum ‘Blue Muffin’, Viburnum dilatatum ‘Cardinal Candy’ and the escort to help with berry production, Viburnum nudum ‘Brandywine’ were ordered from Wayside Gardens in 2007.

As usual, the shrubs arrived the size of a packet of pencils but there was plenty of hope for their future. The future has arrived, five years later. Research confirmed the poor berry production for Blue Muffin, it was also too large for the space. It was dug out to make room for better candidates. The Cardinal Candys, three were purchased, grew the fastest and have been limbed up to allow for planting room underneath. The above photo shows the numerous berries on just one of the three standards.

Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur’ berries July 15, 2012

The two Vibernum nudums are finally getting larger, with the Cardinals pruned to basketball sized lollipops on sticks now. Before, they were shading out the slower growing Brandywine and Winterthur. There are clusters of berries on all, with the nudums turning from whitish, to pinkish, to darker pinkish to dark blue very quickly. Cardinal Candy has red berries.

Viburnum ‘Winterthur’ in bloom in April, 2012

Some facts about Viburnum nudum:

Size: 6 feet tall x 3 or more feet wide
Light: Full sun to part shade
Blooms: White flowers in spring, not showy (especially when there is an explosion of other flowerings going on)
Moisture: Adaptable, well drained
Type: Deciduous
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5-9
Common names: possumhaw Viburnum, smooth witherod
Native to the Eastern and Southeastern US
Brandywine is somewhat smaller
Foliage: Shiny, elliptical leaves 3 to 4 inches long

Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur’ August 18, 2012

Fruit set is better with at least two different cultivars. Some say that Brandywine will fruit without a partner, but that Winterthur will not. I planted both at the same time, along with Cardinal Candy, so don’t really know. I do know that Blue Muffin fruited very poorly, even though it was planted with these others, so it was removed.

Viburnum nudum ‘Brandywine’ August 23, 2012

Along with these coral pink berries that turn to indigo, Viburnum nudum also has beautiful fall color, turning a mahogany red. If a nice photo can be taken that substantiates the fall beauty, it will be added to this post.


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12 Responses to Viburnum Nudum ‘Brandywine’ and ‘Winterthur’

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I have several viburnum yet none of the ones you have listed. One of my favs is ‘Northern Burgundy Lights’. It has dark blue almost black looking berries. It is in full sun and fruits well with no supplement watering. This year I wondered if it would even live but it has only given is slight wilt from time to time. It is loaded with berries despite the drought. It is growing very vertical despite no trimming. A wonderful plant. I like this one you have highlighted that has those white berries.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. There are so many Viburnums, every garden should have at least one of them. The white berries turn pink then to the very dark blue. They do seem to be very drought tolerant.

  2. gail says:

    I do love viburnums…they’re such a good shrub group. I have several, with Rusty Blackhaw being my favorite for berries of the ones I have. Love the colorful berries on yours. How long do the berries last before the birds strip the trees? xoxogail

    Hi Gail, thanks. I have not really paid attention to how long the berries last on these nudums. In doing the research for this post, one source said the birds don’t eat the berries until they turn sweeter, very late in the season like the winterberry hollies. I will pay attention this year and report back!

  3. Dave says:

    I bought that one this spring at Growild! Beautiful. I saw the glossy green leaves and it had to come home. I can’t resist a good viburnum!

    Good to hear, Dave. The leaves are beautiful and now that these shrubs are getting larger, no longer pencils in dirt!, they are really adding to the overall look here. You may need two cultivars to get berries, some of the sites said so.

  4. I have Brandywine viburnum and have never seen a berry yet. Same with Blue Muffin. But they are planted in a fairly shady spot, so…. I will definitely look for the other ones on your post, and plant them in sun. I have unnamed viburnums under some trees that never fail to bloom, but again, no berries. They are hardy and easy to taking rootings from and plant around the yard. But I don’t know the name.

    Blue Muffin was just pitiful here, so I looked up some garden web forums and found that having the right pollinator was crucial, and even then the berry production was iffy. That is why I got rid of mine, and it was in full sun. Many Viburnums are like blueberries in that they need different cultivars to turn the flowers into berries. These nudums, having both Brandywine and Winterthur have started producing beautiful berries in recent years. They are gorgeous! Good luck to you with the berry hunt!

  5. I don’t have any viburnums. I’ll have to rectify that.

    There are many good ones, Kathy, I am sure you will find the best for your climate and situation.

  6. I love viburnums and those new ones of yours look really worthwhile.

    Thanks Green Bench. These two V. nudums are the best of all of the Viburnums grown here, and there are several. If I knew before what I know now, there would be more nudums and fewer of the others. These are my favorites.

  7. Rose says:

    Look at all those luscious berries–I can just see the birds salivating over them! I planted a ‘Cardinal Candy’ last spring; so far it hasn’t done very well, although it did have a few blooms this spring. The drought hasn’t helped, though I suppose I should be patient–I’m glad to know it has done so well for you. But now I have a question–it’s the only viburnum I have; do I need at least one more for it to set fruit?

    Thanks Rose. Most of the Viburnums seem to need some diverse cultivars of the same species to help with berry production. Mine have always grown together, so I do not have first hand experience with Cardinal Candy growing by itself.

  8. commonweeder says:

    I have a nameless viburnam planted over 20 years ago. We call it the highbush cranberry and it is loaded with brilliant red berries in the fall. Happy birds! I also love the flat lacy flowers in the spring.

    Hi Pat, thanks for joining in the Viburnum discussion here. My neighbor has many Viburnums, including one she calls highbush cranberry, it is berry-licious!

  9. Thanks for all the great info on Viburnum! I have one in my garden which is too hidden–I need to give it a more prominent spot because it’s so pretty in all seasons. Looks like you made some great selections.

    Thanks Plant Postings. Sometimes editing must be done to let the hidden stars shine. That worked for the V. nudums, here. Blue muffin and the cardinals were much too large and not nearly as nice.

  10. I thought about getting Blue Muffin while living in VA, but never got around to it. Bought an unnamed one from the extension sale last winter…think I need to move it now (well, this fall) for it to have a bit more sun and room enough to be huge. My former extension agent from VA loved Winterthur. We had to do a stormwater mitigation planting in our Learning Garden and he advocated V. Winterthur be included. Will look into adding one in my garden.

    I recommend having both Winterthur and Brandywine, Janet, to have the most berries possible. They are both beautiful!

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  12. Lisa says:

    Hmm. I just got a Blue Muffin on sale, but my understanding is that I would need another Viburnum Dentatum to get them to berry.m 333

    Hi Lisa, thanks for reading. I believe you are right about Blue Muffin needing a partner. I dug it out after having to constantly prune it to keep it from overpowering the other nearby shrubs. In the future, I would plant a row of the V. nudums winterthur and brandywine. They have proven themselves to have the best four season interest and stay the desired size.

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