Viburnum dentatum 'Blue Muffin' needs a pollinator

stimpy926August 27, 2006

Hi there,

My Blue Muffin blooms profusely, but does not berry, due to no other same-time-blooming clones of dentatum in my yard, or the neighborhood. It's growing in mostly sun. I need another dentatum clone that blooms at the same time, in central Chester county, PA (west of Philly) Can anyone help?

I was re-reading Kevin's list for clones, but wondered if there was confirmation available in my vicinity.

TIA

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kevin_5(z5)

I forgot to add, if you can't located any of the possible clones, let us know and we can find them for you.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

Hi Kevin, thanks,, well that's my point isn't it, unless I'm not understanding? The exact period on the calendar for Blue Muffin here. So, should it be near or the same for perhaps'Red Feather', which I'm considering- I can find it at Rare Find Nursery. It's a smaller dentatum similar to Blue Muffin, (not a giant 10' x 12') I just don't want to plant it and be dissapointed.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 6:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
esh_ga

I have no other blooming v. dentatum. However, I have several v. acerfolium nearby and for the past two years, the two types have cross pollinated each other (the v. acerfolium bloomed but did not fruit prior to the 'Blue Muffin' arriving).

So, that may work for you also. However, the bloom time will need to overlap (obviously mine does here in Georgia).

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 8:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kevin_5(z5)

'Red Feathers' will be 10' x 12'--on the website of the nursery that discovered it, they list:

Viburnum dentatum ÂJ.N. Select Red Feather® Arrowwood Viburnum
Zone 3 H: 8-10' S: 10-12'

By the way, 'Blue Muffin' will also be that size judging by the reports of everyone growing it. It is by no means a dwarf. You could use 'Little Joe' to cross pollinate if you want something that stays small and blooms at the same time as 'Blue Muffin'. You would have to mail order it from Classic Viburnums 308-425-3057

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 10:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

Ok thank you Kevin. Yes, my Blue Muffin is indeed at least 7' this season !

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 9:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

Update from last year. My little 'Red Feather' is in bloom now, and 'Blue Muffin' finished up last week :-( They're not far from another, and in sun.

My quest for berries continues.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 4:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
esh_ga

I'm sorry to hear that. Mine is again loaded with berries this year, again thanks to my mapleleaf viburnums. It really is tricky to get something to bloom at the same time, but do think outside the v.dentatum group and get other things if you can.

By the way, half of my mapleleaf bloomed earlier than the Blue Muffin and that half does not have any berries as a result. Only the half that bloomed concurrent has berries on the mapleleaf.

Last year the deer ate all my berries, however! I have lightly sprayed the foliage with deer off in the hopes of keeping them this year.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 5:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
basic(Z4a)

Blue Muffin and Autumn Jazz are in unison for me at this moment.

Bob

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 7:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
storey3(NH- Zone 5)

Looks like my Blue Muffin and Chicago Lustre will bloom together soon. Both are getting ready, Probably a week or two. I hope they overlap!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 8:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

I have 3 Chicago Lustre's in other parts of the yard, they get shade part to 1/2 the day. They bloom in another week or two. I'm frustrated and considering Little Joe, like kevin originally suggested, but's that a lot of dentatums ;-/ .... or pursue esh ga 's advice.....

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 9:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
basic(Z4a)

My Chicago Lustre looks to be at least a week behind the BM and AJ.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 9:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hoosiergirl(z5IN)

I was just looking at the Spring 2007 Wayside Gardens catalog, and it says that V. nadum 'Winterthur' "is also useful as a pollinator for all the viburnums listed on this page" (and Blue Muffin is on that page). I'm not sure if that's correct or not, since Winterthur is listed as a late spring bloomer and Blue Muffin is listed as and early spring bloomer, but just thought I'd pass this along in case there's any truth to it. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 12:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

hoosiergirl it sounds reasonable, considering esh ga's experience with his acerifolium....and 'Winterthur' is on my list for the large part of the front yard still not developed.

Can anyone reading offer input?

Could dilatatums's do the job as long as bloom time is the same (of course)?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 2:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
laceyvail(6A, WV)

In my yard the Winterthurs (V. nudum) bloom long, long after the dentatums. And dilatatums won't pollinate dentatums or nudums, even if they did overlap.

The days when Wayside Gardens were reliable are long gone.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 6:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

...along with claims of "profuse berries on B. Muffin", thanks for your input laceyvail.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 3:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alison_near_dc

Paula in PA, I am with you girl! I have the same problem here. Four years now with great growth, lots of flowers, no berries and HUGE, I say HUGE, shrubs. What is going on. I want berries. I have some American Cranberries (viburnum trilobum) right next to them, which bloom and get great berries.

I have space to plant another shrub if that would help. But did you ever figure out what the problem was?

Anyone have advice about this now?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 3:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

Hey alison near dc, thanks for your input. I have 3 Chicago Lustre's that have pretty good berry crop, especially 2 of them , which get more sun than the third. Unfortunately, they all bloom after Blue Muffin.

I was so frustrated with the Blue Muffin over the summer I hacked it back. It was falling over. It's in full sun. I had 0 berries on it. I also have an american cranberry near it, like you. The only hope I have for my new 'Red Feather'(planted fall '06) -helping to make berrys on 'Blue Muffin'- is that maybe the bloom time will be a little earlier next year, to coincide with BM's bloom.

I haven't done anything else as yet.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
garden_chicken(3b)

Well, here we are a year later. Are there any updates regarding 'Blue Muffin' berries to report? I just planted a BM viburnum today, looks like I'll be going back to get another to plant in the yard so it will have a pollinator buddy. We are in a new area that is pretty much devoid of neighbouring trees & shrubs so I'll have to provide my own!

Thanks

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 10:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seagreen_turtle(Z5 MI)

Paula, are you having any luck with your blue muffin? Are you still following this post? My blue muffin finally has berries this year!! yay! I got two new viburnums (had to mail away for them) that pollinated the blue muffin. My yard is full of viburnums but none was a pollinator for blue muffin until I got a subspecies of V. Dentatum called dreamii. I got two of them from Fairweather gardens. They bloomed at the same time as my 5' tall existing blue muffin and obviously did the trick. Fairweather gardens was very helpful in emailing me about what they thought would work for me.

seagreen_turtle

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 8:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

Hey seagreen - I'm in flux...

I bought a Vib. acerifolium, per eshga's advice, last fall from Fairweather, but it didn't bloom. In fact I lost half of it from wilt or something , I don't know. No insects on it, plenty of moisture, early morning sun for 3-4 hours, it looks peaked.

I'm waiting to see if it picks up any before the season shuts down, before I make a call on getting a 'Little Joe' or not. It looks like 'Deamii' is a full scale size one...10-12' I guess? The Fairweather guys are great.

Glad you finally got those berries! It is a delight when they blue up on my Chicago Lustres.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 4:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

Hey seagreen - I'm in flux...

I bought a Vib. acerifolium, per eshga's advice, last fall from Fairweather, but it didn't bloom. In fact I lost half of it from wilt or something , I don't know. No insects on it, plenty of moisture, early morning sun for 3-4 hours, it looks peaked.

I'm waiting to see if it picks up any before the season shuts down, before I make a call on getting a 'Little Joe' or not. It looks like 'Deamii' is a full scale size one...10-12' I guess? The Fairweather guys are great.

Glad you finally got those berries! It is a delight when they blue up on my Chicago Lustres.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 4:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

Hey seagreen - I'm in flux...

I bought a Vib. acerifolium, per eshga's advice, last fall from Fairweather, but it didn't bloom. In fact I lost half of it from wilt or something , I don't know. No insects on it, plenty of moisture, early morning sun for 3-4 hours, it looks peaked.

I'm waiting to see if it picks up any before the season shuts down, before I make a call on getting a 'Little Joe' or not. It looks like 'Deamii' is a full scale size one...10-12' I guess? The Fairweather guys are great.

Glad you finally got those berries! It is a delight when they blue up on my Chicago Lustres.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 4:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

Hi paula:

Looks like you are in perpetual repeat mode...

If you don't find what you are looking for by traditional methods, give a shout. I have a lot of 'Little Joe' in gallon pots, many more field grown. It wouldn't be hard to bare root a couple and fire them off to you.

I appreciate all esh_ga's comments, but I'm not sold that Viburnum acerifolium cross-pollinates with Viburnum dentatum at all. I have hundreds of plants of Arrowwood here at the Valley, and a couple Mapleleaf viburnum. I should have fruit out the wazoo on the Mapleleaf by that measure, and I don't.

I'd make sure you get a Viburnum dentatum that overlaps in bloom time with what you have, and that'll ensure good fruiting. With propagation practices what they are at many nurseries, your Arrowwood may not be what it was sold as. That really doesn't matter, as long as it performs the way you want it to (sizewise, fall color, whatever), but it makes it hard to match a cross-pollinator appropriately - especially when the range of bloom time of the twenty-five or so different Arrowwoods I grow here covers four weeks or more (early/mid May to early/mid June), and the first ones are done bloooming before the last ones start.

Viburnum dentatum var. deamii is a full size plant, a great big glossy-foliaged globe. You'd like it, even if you didn't have room for it. It is NOT an early bloomer, though.

Keep providing updates; there is more help waiting in the wings...

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
esh_ga

Well, you know that saying - "your mileage may vary"!

It certainly is working for me, at least 3 years in a row here, but that doesn't mean it will work for everyone. After all, blooming at the same time is KEY. So I assume, VV, that yours bloomed at the same time but still no fruit on the V. acerifolium? I got berries galore on mine. I'm sorry it hasn't worked for you.

By the way, I got 3 V. dentatum (plain species) about 3 years ago. This year, one of them set about 5 blooms, but they bloomed WAY LATER than anything else in my yard. I thought "no way those guys will set fruit". By golly, those 5 clusters are solid berries!! What the heck happened?

I have been disappointed with 'Blue Muffin', by the way. Berries are set, but they never last to turn blue. I don't know if they are falling off or deer are eating them?

In the meantime, my V. nudum var. cassinoides has lovely berries on it - when they were in the pink stage, it looked like a blooming plant again! My neighbor was quite envious.

Paula, hope your V. acerifolium recovers. Would be happy to send you some seed from Georgia if you want to grow some more.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

esh_ga:

There's no one out there that will say viburnums can't self - just that they generally don't do it well. Your seedling (I assume; you didn't specify) Viburnum dentatum could very well be doing so.

I believe that in GA that there are plenty of opportunities for other viburnums to be present to cross-pollinate with yours and other viburnums in the neighborhood. Since flying insects are doing the job, their flight patterns are the key factor during overlapping bloom times and appropriate hosts make the difference.

Which brings me to why I'm not necessarily convinced that you are getting cross-pollination between Viburnum dentatum and Viburnum acerifolium. There is plenty of science to suggest that those two species are NOT compatible.

It is typical to find possible and actual hybrids between disparate Viburnum species with the same chromosome number. In the case in question here, Viburnum dentatum has a chromosome count of 2n = 36, whereas Viburnum acerifolium has a chromosome count of 2n = 18. It isn't likely that Arrowwood viburnum would spontaneously cross with Mapleleaf viburnum.

More likely, Viburnum dentatum would hybridize or cross with species of like chromosome number such as Viburnum molle, Viburnum recognitum, and Viburnum rafinesquianum, which are all also 2n = 36.

But science aside, I'm interested in what is real. Have you tried growing out any seedlings from the purported crossings? This would be quite a bit of proof in the pudding. Seedlings of solely Arrowwood/Mapleleaf viburnum crossing would produce some interesting progeny, if there was indeed no selfing going on, and no interlopers from outside your garden. I'd bet that the successors of the late Dr. Egolf's work at the US National Arboretum (from whence the chromosomal count data derives) would be excited to receive some of this genetic material. Heck - I'd be ecstatic to have seed from that.

Their research is ongoing, and some named clonal plants from Dr. Egolf's controlled hybridization are still being evaluated and released. The latest is called 'Nantucket'; I got to see it when I visited there in May. I tried to link to a story about it, but it wouldn't attach so one will have to Google for new National Arboretum viburnum introductions and read about it.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 9:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
esh_ga

VV, I appreciate your comments, particularly those about chromosome count as I know that can make a difference. Knowing the area around me as I do, I can assure you that there are no V. molle, V. recognitum or V. rafinequianum around here. There certainly could be some other V. dentatum if neighbors purchased them as ornamental, but most people tend to use the same ol' big box plants as you see everywhere else.

Yes, I realize it is possible that the very late blooming V. dentatum plant (a species seedling that I bought from a native plant nursery) could have pollinated itself, but I was especially surprised to see SO MANY berries developing.

It is funny that you mention seedlings - just two days ago I noticed a seedling under the birdbath that looks to be an offspring of the V. acerifolium. I shall carefully dig it up and keep it in a pot for a while. That is the first seedling I have ever noticed and I have not tried to propagate any myself. I just let the birds have them or they fall to the ground.

I'd be happy to send you some fruit/seed, btw. The berries are ripening now. Heck, I'll send you this seedling if you want! You know how it is - I got more plants than I can deal with sometimes!

As I said earlier in this thread (3 years ago now?), the V. acerifolium consistently only sets fruit on the blooms that coincide with the 'Blue Muffin'; the lower half of the bush blooms earlier and NEVER has produced fruit. The 'Blue Muffin' sets a small amount of fruit, each cluster is only partially pollinated. I bought the V. dentatum species plant (3 of them actually) to help pollinate 'Blue Muffin', but two are in too much shade to bloom and as I said the third one bloomed really late.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 7:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

I posted yesterday, with difficulty - obviously, and can't believe it went through 3 times. jeez

Hi VV, thanks for your input. And I'm particularly happy to see you back once again on GW! Have always enjoyed reading your posts. I would very much like to take you up on your offer of 1 or 2 'Little Joe' s. I'll email you -

Esh_ga , it's frustrating waiting 3 years for results - lol. I hope the V. acerifolium picks up. Regardless of the pollinating I wanted it for additional nativity in my yard. If you have any growing advice that would help. I have acid clay soil, it's backed by a couple old Pseudotsuga menziesii's, azaleas and rhododendrons. Should I give it a 'shot' of something? I'll take a picture of it later and post it.

btw, I grow 'Winterthur' V. nudum var. cassinoides, and agree on the fantastic berries. Now when I bought those 3, the tags were clearly marked, and I got 1 "pollinator" for the other 2. They're growing nicely.

Do you grow any perennials nearby to compliment your nudums?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 8:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

Here's the Viburnum acerifolium I planted last fall.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 11:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

Here's the Viburnum acerifolium I planted last fall.
Having trouble posting again,,, hope this doesn't get posted multiple times!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 11:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
esh_ga

Oh, paula that is a sad looking guy! We have plenty of clay here, so I'd have to say that mine are in clay as well. I have them in about 4-5 different places around the yard. The deer like to nibble on a few of the more "exposed" ones. The ones closest to the house (against the foundation) do the best thanks to maximum morning sun and no deer issues.

I would not recommend anything other than adequate water, mulch and a little compost from time to time. Have you gotten a lot of rain this year?

You're right, 3 years is a long time to wait. I have a couple (or more) plants which I'm "waiting" for too - like my Chindo viburnums that have never bloomed and are huge now!! But I got them for screening anyway.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 3:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

Except for the short dry spell earlier this summer, precip. has been good since last fall. I watered it during that time. The only question maybe is lack of drainage, but honestly, water doesn't puddle there. So... ? I'll wait it out, of course. I have to remember to cage it again soon too, deer, rabbits.....

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 3:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
esh_ga

Yeah, I was actually wondering if it got TOO much rain.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 4:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
medora66

So -- I just bought two Blue Muffins thinking they would pollinate each other. Now I know they won't. And I don't want to struggle along with a plant if it's not likely to fruit. It's going to be in THE prominent place in front of the house, so I want it to be a good one ...

So I'm thinking about returning them and buying something that's going to flower AND produce berries ... without me having to get yet another plant to pollinate. I have several American Cranberry Bushes in the yard. I also have a Witherod, Blackhaws, and a Onondaga cultivar. Oh, and several very young Mapleleaf viburnum.

Can you guys recommend a beautiful native, or native cultivar, that would get no larger than 8-10' wide ... look good against a red house ... and berry? I really love the Cranberry Bushes (Trilobium) but I've resisted because I'm concerned the red berries won't show against the house. I might give in. My Witherod is very young and I haven't actually seen it bloom yet ... a possibility?

I still am not entirely clear either on whether a single native Arrowwood (Dentadum, not cultivar) would fruit on its own with these others around.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
esh_ga

How about Ilex glabra, Inkberry?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 10:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stimpy926

You would have to scout nurseries to hopefully find a straight species V. dentatum in bloom. I didn't try that because I don't want another large dentatum, so I know how you feel.

Do you have any Ilex verticillata's? 'Winter Gold' would pop against a red background - same as Winter Red bloom time, if you have either of the guys - Apollo or Southern Gentleman for pollenation. The gold's berries look almost neon in winter.

Update on my quest, halfway to the goal.... my V. dentatum 'Little Joe' and 'Compactum' are now blooming in sequence with my Blue Muffin. Now it's up to our insect friends...I hope so...if I had even half the amount of berries from the prolific blossoms on it now, it would still be a good show in the fall.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 2:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
iowagirl2

I wonder if anyone who posted previously is happy with the Blue Muffin. I have been told that even if you find a cross pollinator the birds eat the fruit so quickly that it just is not worth garden space for it unless you have a non ornamental purpose.

It makes me angry that all the ad hype about this does not mention any of these issues!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:02PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Recs For Underused Ornamental Shrubs
Can you share some that you'd think would be planted...
catkin
Need suggestions
Hi everyone, I need to plant something in the front...
wonka31
Need advice on planting rest of a hedge
I planted a row of Ficus Nitida along the side of my...
allergyvictim
Hamamelis vernalis 'Amethyst'
Potted plant I didn't get to plant this past fall....
whaas_5a
Boxwood rescue! Please help!
I had this 4' 40+ year old boxwood hedge on the edge...
waldenpond
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™