The Leatherleaf Viburnum. Do you know how long I have quested for the name of that darn plant? It has befuddled me since my parents and I visited Vienna last summer. My dad and I saw it on a wandering tour of Burggarten, across from the Intercontinental. It had been grown into an enormous hedge, and I had never seen a plant like it before… it had buddleia-type leaves, with black (actually, they were red! Is my description wrong?) berries and inconspicuous flowers. What on earth could it be?
I had pondered it and looked it up, but I couldn’t describe it well enough, and of course I DIDN’T TAKE A PICTURE OF IT, (oh! But I did, and just discovered it) but the darn plant was like a perpetual Outlook reminder in my brain, every morning, “What is that plant?” My curiosity was piqued last fall on a walk through Washington, DC with my Southern Correspondent, who said, “we have a lot of that at home, but I can’t remember what it’s called. It’s everywhere.” An unsolved puzzle, until today.
Having at long last been able to visit a nursery (like a normal person who doesn’t spend all their time thinking of gardening) SC was able to give me a hint today: Viburnum Maresii. I googled this and thought- not quite, the flowers were too pretty, but SC was right. It’s definitely a viburnum… but it was the clue that solved the puzzle: Viburnum rhytidophyllum.
A lovely tough evergreen hedge that grows 10-15 feet tall and wide, with unshowy flowers, black berries and is apparently quite low maintenance (hence the city park and the “everywhere”). Alas, it is only hardy to Zone 6, so I will have to be happy with my knowledge and leave it at that.
Plant name: 10 months overdue. Dismiss. At last!