Mirror Leaf Viburnum
Viburnum odoratissimum var. Awakbui
This fast-growing shrub is a variety of sweet viburnum and can reach a height of 15 to 20 feet and spread of approximately 4 to 6 feet. It performs well in sun to partial shade and needs well drained soil moisture and average amounts of water. Any soil texture works well, from clay to sand to loam. Acceptable soil pH ranges are from acidic to alkaline, 4.5 to 8.0.
Mirror leaf viburnum is easily recognized by its glossy, large leaves and a green pepper fragrance when the leaves are crushed. Flowers are white, berries are red, and this shrub is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. Propagation is from semi-hardwood cuttings. Mirror leaf viburnum does not set seed, and the flowers are sterile.
It is relatively maintenance free but for pruning and performs well as a large hedge. Downy mildew can be an issue but it hasn’t been in the Discovery Garden. For information on this landscape plant, please see the University of Florida publication “Viburnum odoratissimum: Sweet Viburnum,” by Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st659.
The Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden is one of several demonstration gardens at the UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension Service, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner.