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Guelder Rose

Viburnum opulus

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Viburnum Opulus

The viburnum opulus is rather misleadlingly known as the guelder rose - though the viburnum does flower in the spring , they are small white and delicate, rather than the large showy flowers normally expected from a rose.

In fact, the viburnum outer flowers are simply to attract bees, and the nectar is held in the inner flowers. Viburnum roses do have a pleasant aroma and the shrub spreads nicely to fill in gaps and can be easily clipped to shape, but left untended the viburnum will reach a maximum height of 4m in a few years. If you want to fill a gap with a hardy plant which can tolerate shade, boggy or wet conditions and slightly alkaline soil, yet still produces flowers in the spring, red leaves in the autumn and red berries in the winter, then consider the viburnum opulus. If you have small children or curious pets, then you should be aware that the viburnum leaves, berries and bark can be an irritant and even poisonous in large quantities. Do not be tempted to follow the birds' example - they love the red berries!

All our trees and shrubs are grown to be the perfect size for best establishment. For most species this can range from 20-60cm above the root plug. If you would like to discuss specific sizes, please contact us.

Origins of Viburnum opulus

The guelder rose is named after Guelderland in Holland, where it was cultivated as a decorative shrub. However, it is Ukraine which has really taken the viburnum to its heart, and not only does the humble viburnum feature in many traditional Ukrainian songs and poems, but also in rebel songs. Today, Ukraine's love affair with the viburnum opulus has been officially recognised and it is their national flower.

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