At one time or another I’ve grown about 20 viburnum cultivars with varying success. I bought Viburnum ‘Eskimo’, a hybrid, at a local nursery years ago without looking up the growing information, and this Zone 6 shrub failed after a few years in my Zone 5b garden. Then there was V. dentatum ‘Synnesvedt’ (Chicago Lustre), which thrived and thrilled the birds until Viburnum leaf beetles arrived a couple of years ago and ate it up. That’s out now. V. dentatum ‘Blue Muffin’ never lived up to its hype in my garden. It grew weedy and it’s out too.
But let’s talk about a favorite, V. lantana ‘Mohican’. With its perfect oval habit and dense branching, this shrub is a winner in my book (literally–check p. 360 in The Homeowner’s Complete Tree & Shrub Handbook). This is an absolutely wonderful, low maintenance shrub for deciduous hedging. Leaf beetles leave mine alone, and I pruned it this year for the first time in 15 years. The photo above shows my plant blooming in May. Although descriptions say that Mohican holds its red-orange fruit longer than other wayfaringtrees–4 weeks or more according to Michael Dirr–I haven’t seen it on my plant, where fruits rapidly turn black. I don’t grow this plant for fruits anyway, so it’s no loss to me. No, I grow Mohican viburnum for its lovely form and thick, dark green, trouble-free leaves.