Evergreen or deciduous shrubs and trees, often with highly scented clusters of flowers, white to pink, spring to summer. Foliage opposite, very varied, with some producing excellent autumn colour, like V. plicatum. Berries ranging from red, black to metallic blue. Good for background but also worthy of prime spots in the garden.

Wild-type Viburnum species are very attractive to insects, such as bees and flies, and then after fertilization the fruits of many species are berries that support autumn birds. Sadly those cultivars of species like V. opulus with showy sterile flowers only are the very archetype of 'promise everything, deliver nothing' - no nectar, pollen or fruit. Midwinter-flowering species like V. tinus are an essential buffer for bees and hoverflies that nowadays are either rousing from hibernation early, or not going into hibernation at all. Times they are a'changing...

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