Viburnum lentago (Nannyberry)
|Also known as:||Sheepberry|
|Life cycle:||perennial woody|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist soil; hardwood forest openings, swamps, fens, wet meadows, lake shores, river banks|
|Bloom season:||May - June|
|Plant height:||10 to 25 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FAC NCNE: FAC|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Dense, rounded flower clusters 2 to 3½ inches across at tips of one-year old branches. Flowers are creamy white, about ¼ inch across, bell to saucer-shaped with 5 rounded lobes. In the center is a single, short style and 5 long, yellow-tipped stamens that extend far beyond the mouth of the floral tube. The calyx around the base of the flower has a short tube and 5 small, triangular lobes. Flower stalks are hairless and green to red.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are simple and opposite, lance-elliptic to nearly oval, 2 to 4 inches long, 1¼ to 2¼ inches, wide with an abrupt taper to a sharply pointed tip, and rounded at the base. The leaf stalk is ½ to 1¼ inch long, typically flattened with irregular wings. Surfaces are hairless, the upper surface dark green and shiny, lower surface paler, mostly smooth or with very tiny scale-like covering. Edges have crowded, short, sharp teeth.
Nannyberry is not only common throughout most of Minnesota, it's become a fairly popular landscaping shrub in urban areas. While it's typically a densely mutliple stemmed shrub in open sites, the plant industry had deemed it fit to train it to a single stem, marketing it more as a small tree. That works only as well as the final property owner dutifully prunes out the numerous suckers it attempts to produce. Even then, it will not persist long term as a single stemmed small tree, over time losing its vigor and esthetic form.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Nannyberry plant
- Nannyberry plant
- Nannyberry plants
- fall color
- a cluster of stems
- leaf stalks are irregularly winged and may appear bumpy or ragged
- more flowers
Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Aitkin, Anoka, Ramsey and Winona counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?