What type of shrub is this? Leaf bud arrangement, growth habit, and fruit suggest to me that this is a Viburnum species. Only a few V. species have bright red fruit in December (see the fruit images below).
Location: Western Albemarle County, Brinnington area, near the Mechums River
Elevation: 480-490 feet elevation Substrate: Meta-siltstone bedrock; acidic clayey soils. Aspect: South/ Southeast facing cove. Soil drainage: mesic/hydric, poorly drained. Immediately adjacent to an ephemeral stream. Habitat: Relatively gentle slope, low area, wet ephemeral stream-side. Dominant canopy trees in this young emerging forest are black cherry, red maple, Virginia pine, tulip poplar, black walnut; understory of dogwood, spicebush, a variety of vines (including Smilax species), and the Viburnum species in question. Many of the Viburnum shrubs are over eight feet tall, and the ground is covered with young shrubs, indicating that it has no problem germinating in this habitat. The colony of Viburnum is very well defined; it occupies an area that is on the edge of a forest and along a stream, with an open hillside field to the east. There are dozens of mature shrubs, and even more saplings. The area that this species occupies is about 300-350 feet long by 50 feet wide, stretched along the ephemeral stream.If you have a guess, respond in the comments section below. Please explain the reasoning/sources behind your hypothesis. Thanks!Sources reviewed in preparation for this inquiry:
- Geologic map of Virginia, Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, 1993
- http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/WeakleyFlora2010Mar.pdf (***large file!!)