Viburnum farreri is the first harbinger of spring
Viburnum farreri is a remarkable plant. Did you know that it blooms before the first green leaves appear? It can reach a height of up to three meters and grows quite quickly. But most importantly the flowers are gorgeous! This ornamental shrub comes from China, but it is very popular in Europe. You can enjoy the beautiful and sweet-smelling flowers already in March. Viburnum farreri is one of the first plants that bloom in the spring, and that is why many see it as the harbinger of spring.
Innocence and purity
Many Slavic nations consider viburnum farreri to be the most important plants. Especially in Ukraine and Russia, this plant is very popular and they even consider it the national plant. White viburnum flower is a sign of innocence and purity, and that is why brides of the past used to decorate their dresses with these beautiful flowers.
Sweet scented flowers
Flowers are also the reason why this shrub is so popular. The flowers are not only beautiful: they are pink or pinkish-white and have nice tube-like shape, but most importantly they give out a plenty of beautiful fragrance. When this deciduous shrub starts to bloom it is literally covered with flowers and the shrub displays them very boldly. They grow at the ends of short bare twigs even before the first leaves appear. Sometimes you may see flowers in November or December.
Once the flowers are gone the shrub produces bright red fruit. Leaves turn red and purple in autumn and that is another beautiful display for the eye. However, the fruit is “useless” to birds and poisonous to humans. This is something to think about if you want to grow viburnum farreri and have children or pets. The bark is also poisonous – but in small quantities it actually has medicinal effects. If you happen to get poisoned, you will experience pain in the stomach and intestine. Interestingly enough, if you cook the fruit you can consume it and indeed people often make jams out of the fruit.
Growing viburnum farreri
Choose a sunny spot (it will also do well in semi-shade, but it will produce less flowers) and humus-rich, moist soil. Growing this ornamental shrub is not difficult and you probably will not need to prune it but if you want the shape the shrub, do it in the spring after flowering. You do not need to protect it from frost, as viburnum tolerates temperatures down to -29 °C.
Note: Some types of viburnum farreri are evergreen and these types do better in shady and moist places.
Preview photo: Pixabay
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