A fresh snowfall shows great contrast between the white snow and the blue, shrunken fruit of Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur’.
A number of viburnums have been covered in the Green Industry News such as Viburnum x pragense, Viburnum sieboldii 'Seneca', and Viburnum x burkwoodii 'Mohawk'. The one that catches my eye at this time of year is Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur'. Not because it has 'winter' in its name (that refers to the location, Winterthur Gardens in Delaware where this selection was found) but because of its winter interest.
Like most viburnums, there are several reasons to enjoy the beauty of V. nudum 'Winterthur' throughout the year. In spring, small white flowers appear above the glossy leaves. After petal drop, the glossy leaves stand out even more. The waxy leaves add sheen to the plant that goes well into the fall when the leaves slowly change to a purplish-red.
Don't forget about those flowers. Although short lived, they give way to clusters of fruit that turn from a pinkish-red color to blue. It's those berries that make it a four season plant. The blue color is retained for months but the berry shape changes from a round figure to the look of a raisin (shrunken and wrinkled).
V. nudum 'Winterthur' is well adapted to most of the mid-Atlantic region and southern US, and performs well in a variety of conditions. The straight species can attain heights of 20 feet (that would almost place it into a tree category!) but 'Winterthur' grows to about 6 feet in height and spread. I have seen this most effective in a mass planting rather than as a specimen plant.
Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur' leaves turn from a glossy green to a nice purplish-red.