rusty blackhaw
Viburnum rufidulum

Secondary Names:
rusty blackhaw viburnum

Leaf Type: Deciduous
Texas Native:
Tree Description:

A flowering understory shrub or small tree, usually 20 feet tall or less but occasionally to 35 feet, with one or more arching trunks to 8" in diameter, forming an irregular, drooping crown of glossy green foliage.

Range/Site Description:

Occurs in East and Central Texas, especially at the edge of woods and thickets, on moist, well-drained soils or limestone hillsides.


Simple, opposite, 1.5" to 3.5" long and 1" to 2" wide, oval or elliptic in shape, with fine teeth on the margin. Leaves are leathery, glossy dark green above, paler below, with red hairs on the veins and petiole, turning deep red in the fall. The winter buds are also covered with rusty brown hairs.


A dense, flat, round cluster of bright white flowers, 2" to 6" across, composed of small, five-petaled flowers and appearing at the tips of branches in spring, after the leaves unfold.


A drooping cluster of bluish-black, oval, berry-like drupes, each about 0.5" long, covered with a waxy bloom, and containing a stony seed measuring 0.25" long.


The twigs are ash-gray, becoming dark dull reddish­brown after one or more years; older trunks develop a thick, black, blocky bark with deep fissures.


Wood has an unpleasant odor when cut. The species is available occasionally from native plant nurseries as a landscape specimen.

Similar Species:

Blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) has leaves that lack a glossy surface or red hairs underneath.

Interesting Facts:

A small population of rusty blackhaws exists in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, far from the rest of its native range.

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