Viburnum lantana L. - Wayfaring Tree.

Taxonomic position.

Family Viburnaceae Rafin., genus Viburnum L.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial shrub or small tree 1-3(5) m tall with dense crown and suberized bark. Young shoots greyish with adpressed tomentose pubescence consisting of stellate hairs. Leaves ovate or elliptic, 4-10 cm long, 3-7 cm wide, on short, tomentosely pubescent petioles, with rounded or cordate base, dentate at margins, above dark green and densely pubescent with bushy hairs, beneath green with greyish tomentose pubescence by stellate hairs. Lateral leaf veins (8-12 pairs) terminate in teeth in a form of short cusp. Inflorescences dense, many-flowered, with 7 main rays, on short peduncle. Flowers located on axes of the third-fourth order, subsessile. Bracts narrow, up to 1 cm long, tomentosely pubescent outside. Calyx teeth triangular, small. Corolla yellowish-white, caliciform-rotate, with a limb 6-8 mm diameter, incised into obtuse lobes 1.5-2 times as long as tube. Stamens glabrous, 2 times as long as corolla, with yellow anthers. Ovary glabrous. Fruits 7-8 cm long, ovoid-ellipsoidal, initially green, later bright red, mature black, nitid, with elliptic flat pits sinuate laterally. Flowers in May - June, fruits in August - September.


General distribution: Europe, except northern areas; northwestern Lesser Armenia and Kurdistan. Former USSR: European part - central and southern, Crimea, Caucasus - Ciscaucasia and Transcaucasia.


Exposed forest fringes, light woodlands and shrubberies, stony and debris slopes, in forest and subalpine montane zones.

Use and economic value.

Medicinal: fruits and bark contain high level of tannic substances and are used as astringent. Branches are used for weaving baskets and furniture. Ornamental when in fruit and blossom; there are ornamental variegate-leaved forms.


Shishkin BK., ed. 1958. Flora URSS. V.23. P.447-448. (In Russian).
Cherepanov SK. 1995. Vascular plants of Russia and adjacent states (the former USSR). St.Petersburg. 990 p. (In Russian).

© T.N.Smekalova

© Photo by R.S.Ushakova

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