Viburnum (Viburnum tinus)

During what has been a particularly wet start to the New Year, the sight of some flowers on the Greenway is a welcome sight! Viburnum tinus is an evergreen native which has been grown successfully in the UK for over 400 years, in a climate which couldn’t be further removed from its native Mediterranean homeland or northern Africa where it commonly grows wild. At home in sun baked environments, you could be forgiven for thinking it would struggle in our cold and wet climate. Despite this, it will still flower after a long winter in wet soil, late frosts or a long period of cold weather.  This medium sized shrub will grow approximately 3m in height and can also spread 3m.   

Photo credit: Paul Hunter, Ropeworks Bridge

Viburnum tinus has a very dense, dark green foliage of compact glossy leaves. These leaves create the perfect backdrop to showcase its beautiful pink buds and white star shaped flowers. Flowering sporadically during winter and a final flourish in spring, this provides essential early nectar for the bees. During the summer the same foliage also provides same service for any herbaceous planting to the front of it. 

The RHS has given this plant the award of Garden Merit and classified it ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ which highlights how valuable a source of food it is at this time of year

Where to find it?

This plant will grow well within a mixed border, as a filler or as a specimen plant. It can be grown as a dividing hedge in pots and successfully clipped in topiary forms. Along the Greenway we have planted it in mass along the river section between C.S. Lewis Square and Connswater Shopping Centre. Be like this hardy little plant and get out and about despite the weather!

Photo Credit: Paul Hunter

Be Part of it…

Our Viburnum were planted nearly a couple of years ago and are definitely settling in to their new home. As they continue to flower we would love to see your pictures, especially if you see any bees! Also keep an eye out for signs of spring such flowering bulbs starting to raise their heads…