What Shrub is This?

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).
Observation Notes:
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.cnr.vt.edu/dendro/wwwmain.html
  • http://www.plants.usda.gov/java/
  • http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/WeakleyFlora2010Mar.pdf (***large file!!)

2 thoughts on “What Shrub is This?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a viburnum I grew up with on Eastern Long Island and equate with northern climes. I learned it as V. alnifolium but it has had the name changed to V. lantanoides. Its very pubescent stems are a bit bothersome but the buds on V. lantanoides are pubescent as shown in the photo. I checked mine here at my house and it all seems the same. Also, this is a plant that loves VERY acid soil. Companions are chestnut, white and red oaks as well as plants like striped wintergreen and trailing arbutus which tends to grow at its feet in its native habitat. It grow open and scraggly but is very beautiful as the berries persist almost all winter and develop a weepy habit. Could a little bird have dropped a present in the area?

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