DESCRIPTION: Upright spreading growth habit with dark green leaves that turn brick red in fall. Attractive white flowers followed by showy, edible dark blue fruit in fall which persists well into...
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DESCRIPTION: Upright spreading growth habit with dark green leaves that turn brick red in fall. Attractive white flowers followed by showy, edible dark blue fruit in fall which persists well into winter. One forager describes the taste of the nannyberry as “hints of banana, prunes, raisins and even a slight "holiday spice," all with a distinctive and unique Nannyberry flavor.” The berry is ripe when it looks overripe, wrinkling like a raisin.

BOTANICAL NAME: Viburnum lentago
OTHER NAMES: Sheepberry
AVERAGE MATURE HEIGHT: 4 Meters
AVERAGE MATURE SPREAD: 3 Meters
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun to full shade
FLOWER COLOUR: White
FLOWERING TIME: Spring
FOLIAGE COLOUR: Dark green
COLD HARDINESS: Zone 2 ( Should survive up to -42.7° Celsius )
WATER NEEDS: Average
OTHER FEATURES: Attracts Birds, Attracts Butterflies, Edible Fruit, Fall Colour, Winter Interest

Ornamental Features

Nannyberry features showy creamy white flat-top flowers at the ends of the branches in mid spring. The royal blue fruits are held in abundance in spectacular clusters from late summer to late winter. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The glossy pointy leaves turn an outstanding brick red in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Nannyberry is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration:

  • Suckering

Nannyberry is recommended for the following landscape applications:

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Nannyberry will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.

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