Shrub 1 - 5 m tall Leaves: opposite, stalked, shiny green above, dull green beneath, 4 - 10 cm long, rounded to lance- egg-shaped with a heart-shaped base (sometimes) and pointed to rounded tip, sharp-toothed, sometimes hairy in vein axils. Leaf stalks 8 mm - 2.5 cm long. Flowers: in branched, compound clusters (cymes), which are borne terminally on the stems. Cymes mostly five- to seven-rayed, flat-topped, to about 13 cm wide. The leaves subtending the cymes have leaf stalks over 7 mm long. Corolla five-lobed, white, 4 - 5 mm wide, bell-shaped, sometimes sparsely hairy internally. Corolla tube to 1.2 mm long, 2 - 3 mm wide. Stamens five, exserted from the corolla. Anthers yellow. Stigma three-lobed. Fruit: berry-like (drupe), in clusters, bluish black, 5 - 10 mm wide, spherical, single-seeded. Twigs: slender, angled, downy when young, becoming hairless with age. Form: rounded with arching branches.
Similar species: Two other varieties of Viburnum dentatumoccur in the Chicago Region: dentatum and scabrellum. Variety dentatum differs by having star-shaped hairs on the leaf stalks. Variety scabrellum differs by having hairy leaves and leaf stalks. Viburnum rafinesquianum is also similar but has stipules on the leaf stalks. Also, the leaves subtending the inflorescence of V. rafinesquianum have leaf stalks no longer than 7 mm.
Flowering: May to June
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from farther east. An increasingly common escape from cultivation, often found in disturbed woods and other disturbed areas.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Notes: About 200 species of Viburnum occur between North America, Europe and Asia. Many are ornamental shrubs cultivated for their showy flowers, autumn foliage, and attraction to wildlife.
Etymology: Viburnum is the Latin word for the Wayfaring tree. Dentatum means toothed. Lucidum means bright, lustrous, or clear.