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Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Posted by Viburnumvalley z5/6 KY (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 26, 05 at 13:58

There have been many excellent discussions about viburnums here on Shrubs forum, as well as elsewhere like Natives and Wildlife forums. Some of them have gotten to be voluminous, and have a lot of good collateral info. I wanted to summarize my thoughts/opinions about the rationale of pollination in viburnums. This same info is posted on the "Still about Viburnums: berries" thread on the Wildlife forum. Speaking of voluminous: stop now if you don't have your athletic reading shoes on.

Many posts on GW are hitting all around the concept of the conditions necessary for fine fruiting. I'm looking to provide some clarification of what I think most people are looking for, information-wise. I use Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood) as the example, because it is a widely used plant that most folks have heard of and is easy to grow.

FIRST: there are some claims that the only reason that anyone says you need two different plants with viburnums is so that they can sell you something. Hogwash. University professors, researchers, and people on GW don't have a financial interest in your garden. You can send me money if you want; I'd rather see you post (by this fall) that your viburnums are loaded with fruit because you installed several dissimilar individuals. And then you could send me some for my collection....

NEXT: Viburnums are monoecious, as has been stated elsewhere and can be looked up in texts. So are most of the Rosaceae family (Malus, Prunus, Pyrus, Amelanchier, Rosa, etc.) but many fruit tree growers will vouch for increased fruit production when multiple clones of a species are planted in proximity in order to provide cross-pollination opportunities. This implies (and researchers/scientists/someone besides me can verify better) SELF-INCOMPATIBILITY of individuals despite each plant having perfect flowers. This doesn't mean that a plant CANNOT pollinate itself, just that it does very little or poorly. There is anecdotal evidence (here on GW, and elsewhere) of some solitary plants of some species of viburnums that produce decent fruit crops, but it is so easy to plant a couple different ones that it defies logic not to. Co-opt a neighbor or some such if you don't personally have room.

NEXT: The biggest confusion I observe is the issue of species versus clone or cultivar. The best way to resolve this is to do a little reading in a biology or botany text, but I'll endeavor to layman-ize it. When someone says "I have the species Viburnum dentatum, not any clone" what they are saying is that they have an unnamed or unknown plant of arrowwood, not a named plant of arrowwood like Chicago Lustre. What they don't say (and maybe don't know) is whether they have a seedling of Viburnum dentatum. THAT MATTERS. If they know they have a seedling (grown from seed, not just a little plant), then they have a genetically distinct individual of Viburnum dentatum from a known provenance. If they just have an unnamed plant, it could just as well be a clone depending on propagation method. And on we go...

NEXT: Propagation....every Chicago Lustre is (should be) identical to every other Chicago Lustre because the plant is reproduced VEGETATIVELY (clonally or asexually), generally from cuttings that are then rooted. Species plants of arrowwood can also be produced this way. This is the trap that many individuals seem to fall into, in these threads, when claiming that they have "the species" and not necessarily knowing if they have seedlings or simply unnamed but clonally-produced plants. When plants are produced from seed (SEXUALLY) this means that there has been some genetic mixing between two parent plants resulting in seedlings that are related to but not identical to the parent producing the seed. Individually, these seedlings are no more or less capable of self-pollination. Are you worn out yet?

If you purchase and plant more than one arrowwood that were grown from seed (thus similar but not identical), then these will be fine for providing cross-pollination conditions if they have overlapping bloom times, which they should if from the same seed source.

NEXT: There was a GW question elsewhere about what happens when buying plants from Oregon and from North Dakota sources. This was one of the best ones yet about getting to the crux of the matter. Overlapping bloom times is the critical factor. If plants from these disparate sources bloom with a month separating them, no dice. If they overlap, one should have oodles of fruit.

NEXT: Provenance is important, especially to northern gardeners and those who want to respect their efforts to reinvigorate native landscapes. You want a plant that is known to survive your conditions (soils, moisture, low temps), and some want plants that are known to have naturally occurred in their area. Viburnum dentatum has an extremely wide range of natural occurrence (provenance); a glance at Hightshoe's text shows a distribution map shaded from Cape Cod MA down the east coast to northern FL, and along the Gulf coast to east TX. Interior areas shaded include most of those states bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, as well as minor areas in AR, MO, TN, KY, and OH. This map is just for V. dentatum. Varietas of V. dentatum and its allies (like V. molle, V. rafinesquianum, V. recognitum, and V. bracteatum) extend this range even further. You want to know these things when selecting plants for ND, or NH, or GA. The different clones of Viburnum dentatum come from many areas; no wonder they don't all bloom at the same time! This applies not only to my garden bloom times (I have about a dozen different V. dentatum), but to the difference in WHEN they bloom for me and when they'll bloom for you. For me, arrowwoods generally bloom in May-June; for you, that may be a month or more later or earlier. The SEQUENCE of identical plants' bloom times should remain constant, though. If in KY mine proceed from Cardinal to Indian Summer to Northern Burgundy to Autumn Jazz, then you should have the same order of bloom in ND, or NH, or GA.

NEXT: One of the viburnum threads on Shrubs refers to several folks who will be again tracking bloom times in 2005, in order to help the GWers flailing about trying to match up some of their favorite fruiting plants. This will make life simpler in some respects (shouldn't be tough to have a start to finish list of all the clones' bloom times) but more confusing in others (seedlings, if not of known provenance, are going to be all over the place time-wise).

Is anyone still awake? Isn't this fun? My personal goal is to grow as many of all the viburnums as I can here in KY. Not just clones, but seedlings of known provenance too. Any that I learn to be invasive here will be eradicated, but there will still be many to permanently cultivate. These are great plants to look at, but also to learn from so that others can enjoy them successfully as well.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Very nice and concise and helpful, but I have one question.

If I have v. dentatum (either unnamed specimens or species, gotten from different sources at different times and ages) and two 'Blue Muffin' (same source, same purchase, clones), will seedlings of 'Blue Muffin' be 'Blue Muffin' or a hybrid or something else (assuming cross pollination with the unnamed plants)?

:)


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

The seedlings will be just that, seedlings.

To acquire another 'Blue Muffin' viburnum you will need to take a vegetative cutting of 'Blue Muffin' and root it.

All (or almost all) cultivar plants are grown from a single plant and they are all identical - that's why two 'Blue Muffin' viburnums will not cross pollinate each other - it IS the same plant, but with two different root systems (rooted cuttings).

Sow some of the seeds you get from the berries on your plants and then put the resulting plants into your landscape and you will end up getting much better cross pollination AND much better fruit-set on your plants.
Good luck,
Mike


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Right on, Greenthumb. Seedlings imply mixed parents, maybe with more affinity to the plant that the seeds come off of. So, Blue Muffin fruit germinate seedlings that will be similar to Blue Muffin and have some characters of the pollen parent (which you'd have no good way of knowing unless you were performing a controlled cross).

Use of terms properly MEANS something. Hybrid can refer to a lot of different things, when just thrown about. General usage usually refers to crossing unlike plants, like different species of roses or viburnums, and should be termed interspecific hybrid. Seedlings from the cross-pollination of two V. dentatum don't conjure up the term hybrid in that sense. I am not a botanist or biologist; I'd defer to those more classically trained to put a finer point on it.

Concise? Croakie, you are too kind.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Thanks.

And I did think it was concises, it would have taken me a whole lot more words to get it across! LOL


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

VV, Marvelous job! And, for all you related, yes, concise.

One related question I've got. When a plant is technically self-fertile, but tends strongly towards self-incompatibily like viburnums, what is the mechanism that prevents self-pollination? (Forgive my awkward botanical phraseology)Is it male flower parts producing pollen later or earlier than female flower parts being receptive? Or is it something else?

Scott


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

I'm not a Viburnum expert, but I know that in other trees and shrubs it's often a genetic self incompatability along with the pollen being shed before or after the female flower is receptive to pollen. When the pollen from the plant lands on a stigma on the same plant, the pollen tube, which forms when a pollen grain lands on the female stigma, often aborts, thus preventing complete pollenation. In other plants at least, this happens but sometimes the pollen tube doesn't abort until after the male gametes have passed through and into the ovule, hence some fruit/berries develop, but not many. Maybe someone else can say for sure if this mechanism is at work within Viburnum also.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Scott: what kman04 (Matt) said.

I'm at the mercy of re-reading Plant Propagation Principles and Practices 6th ed. (Hartman & Kester) pp. 106-108. It's all there, should you choose to understand it. When they start using terms likes sporophytic and gametophytic incompatibility; dichogamy; heterzygosity vs. homozygosity; and inbreeding depression, I start glazing over and reach for a glass of wine.

OK, I'll check with some of the PhD crowd this week and try to get back to GW with it. Till then I say: it just is. The scientists said so. Do it, and be fruitful.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

I am one of the Garden Webers flailing about trying to match up some of their favorite fruiting plants, especially my Arowood Viburnums, so I have been paying close attention to the bloom times reported by our Viburnum experts. Love these Viburnum threads. VV, keep up the great posts! My goal is to have massive fruit set on every viburnum in my garden.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

I've read through your original post, VV. --And have come back and read it through again a few more times. So far, so good. I understand everything you said. Although whether I can remember it, --or even more importantly, APPLY it when the time comes... (Someday those little Viburnum I've been planting will be big enough to bloom.)

Thanks very much for taking the time to clarify all the information for us.

And I'm looking forward to the bloom-time tracking reports. What a great idea!

Leslie


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

What I don't get is the part about provenance and shrubs from different areas blooming at different times. I mean I understand the concept but I don't get the mechanism. Sure, the shrubs in Georgia are going to bloom before the shrubs in Michigan, but when you bring them both to Kentucky, why is there such a difference in the same species? I know that there are late blooming and early blooming tulips, roses, daffodils, etc, but I never associated that with provenance (maybe I just haven't made the connection). It also seems the 3 plants I mention have been bred for eons and I would have though at least some of the scheduling difference can be attributed to hybridization, but maybe I'm wrong there too. Its also concievable that a species could have enough plasticity to produce a range of bloom times, but I wouldn't have thought this to do with provenance but here and in related posts a close connection has been suggested. Are we saying that different populations have homogenized into having distinct bloom times? Wouldn't this be just a skip and a jump from speciation? I may not be making a lot of sense. Its like I'm going into a Karate competition after seeing a couple of Jackie Chan flicks. I would like to understand though and it just seems counterintuitive to me to think that two plants beloning to the same species would bloom at different times just because they originated in different geographical areas. Can anyone elaborate on how this can be? Thanks.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

We will be needing this information here so up it comes from page nine.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Gotta bump; too many pollination questions wafting about.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Yes, and they are STILL wafting about!


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Get this back into front page circulation, for those posing pollinating perplexities.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Another bump for the next month of questions.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

So pleased with my Viburnums this year as they are finially doing what I was waiting for since I planted them, heavy berry set. They red berries on my Wentworth, Asian Beauty and Cardinal Candy viburnums are putting on a wonderful fall show.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

bump redux


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

This is such an intersting thread!
I'm glad to see that there are people who like to study the viburnums!
Sherry


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Does anyone want to try to answer the questions I raised in this thread about 11 months ago?

Thanks.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

I was pleased this year as my two original arrowood viburmums have set fruit really heavily this spring so all the cross pollination information has been working. What is really funny is the other supossed species that I bought to pollinate these two didn't even bloom this spring.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Well, the non-blooming arrowood from last spring is blooming heavily this spring along with my others. I should have great bery set on my Arrowoods this year.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Old post but good information -Can anyone answer a questioned posted by Ho ho ho - in March 05

"What I don't get is the part about provenance and shrubs from different areas blooming at different times. I mean I understand the concept but I don't get the mechanism. Sure, the shrubs in Georgia are going to bloom before the shrubs in Michigan, but when you bring them both to Kentucky, why is there such a difference in the same species? " see above for the rest -


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Still a good question and I don't have the answer. I would hope that, after a while perhaps several years, two plants brought together in Kentucky (for example) would eventually come to bloom at the same time if they are same species.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Its great to have these gems return. This is fascinating, though way over my head. May I back track and ask a few basic questions?

Do different types of viburnum cross pollinate? How about similar types such as Judd and Koreanspice?

Are there other factors which limit fruit production?

I am asking because my collection includes 3 Judd, 1 Koreanspice, 2 Allegheny, 1 Burkwood, 2 Winterthur and a new Doublefile

They are close together and all bloom the same - very sparsely.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Blooming does not require any other viburnum to be present. Blooming is a matter of the plant being old enough and have what it needs: sun, water, nutrients.

Fruiting requires that blooming occurs, of course. From there, the blooms require pollination in order to make fruit. It has been found that cross-pollination with another viburnum (one that is blooming at the same time) helps increase the pollination and therefore increases the amount of fruit.

There are some viburnums that will cross-pollinate across species. But always it is required that they bloom at the same time.

harryshoe, if your viburnums are blooming very sparsely, you need to look into the reasons why. Are they in too much shade? Do they get enough water? Or is there some issue with the buds being nipped off (by deer or cold weather)?

Then pay attention to when they bloom (perhaps keep a journal and note the dates of each) and then you can determine if they will help each other with pollination.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Oops. I meant they bloom great, but fruit sparsely. Sorry.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Everyone--We have a Viburnum x carlcephalum and a Viburnum 'Cayuga' planted within 5 feet of each other. The fruit set is fairly heavy. We are going to try to get the seeds to sprout and to grow. We also have 'Alleghany' 'Summer Reflection' 'Mohican' 'Emerald Triumph' V. lantana (transplanted from roadside right-of-way) V. lantana 'varigatum' Viburnum rhytidophyllum and V. rhtidophyllum 'Cree' All these are planted several years ago within a few feet of one another and all bear hear fruit crops. We just allow the seeds to fall into the mulch which is heavily distributed around each plant and watch the seeds sprout in the spring. After a year or two of observation, we select those that may have a future of ornamental value and we'll wait to see what time will bring. Oh, also have 'Pragense' which bears heavy fruit and which has been set to someone who has stated in his publications that he has never seen fruit on the 'Pragense' He reports the possibilities are exciting. Breeding Viburnums only requires patience and allowing the various spp. and cultivars to cross pollinate and allow the seeds to sprout and grow, or not, individual plants over some few years to see what may result.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

To Pops 2008: I have just planted two 3' V rhtydophyllum 'Cree". About 20 or so feet from each other. This is my first time with Viburnum. I have two questions: 1) Are your Cree evergreen? and 2) Do I need a third, different viburnum to get fruit? Oh, wait, one more question, how do they fair in 5b winters. Thank you so much for any assistance.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Cree is evergreen here in east central Illinois. Habit is dense with leaves thick, dark green, and full in the coldest of winter. Yes, you will need a V. rhytidophyllum of the straight species or an 'Alleghany' or a V. x rhytidocarpum or a V. x 'pragense' or a V. lantana or a....well, I think you get the idea. These all freely cross pollinate.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://hortiplex.gardenweb.com/jour/pops_2008


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Thanks for thr "Ah-Ah" moment. I have 2 large V. trifolium (species) that have never produced much fruit. I figured they were too far apart to pollinate each other (they're about 100' apart) , so I decided to give give mother nature a helping hand, and went out there with a Q-tip, and did some pollinating myself. At first, I was thrilled. It looked like almost 100% fertilization. (Most were swollen.) A few days later, maybe 85% or so aborted. After reading this info, I'm guessing they are clones of each other, and not seedlings. I thought I'd be OK as long as I stuck to the species only. Now I see I'd be better off purchasing 2 different cultivars. At least I'd know then that some of their genes are different, and I won't be running into this aborting problem.
On a differnt note, does anyone know where I can purchase V. alnifolium? AKA V. lantanoides.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Kelp, I assume you mean that you have V. trilobum. You'd only need to find one cultivar and that would help BOTH of those species plants. V. trilobum cultivars include:

'Wentworth'
'Red Wing' (or J.N.Select if you see it by that name).
'Compactum'
'Andrews'

and there are a few others, but these seem to be the more common ones.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Forest farm might supply V. alnifolium? Forest farm is mail order retail and has a web site. Never have received an unhealthy specimen from Forest Farm.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

esh ga--Yep, V. trilobum is what I meant. I've seen 'Compactum'. Now just to find a spot for it... Pops--I'll check out Forest Farm right now. I have a pretty shady spot I want to fill with a berry-producing bush. If I can't find that, any other suggestions? Thanks, to both of you.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Mapleleaf viburnum is one of the more shade tolerant ones (Viburnum acerifolium).


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Thanks for such a well-written explanation! I purchased viburnum trilobum compactum plants from Forestfarm several years ago-- and although they survived for ten years or longer, they never did anything. Now I understand why they never produced fruit . . . but actually, they barely even bloomed! I finally gave up and pulled them out this spring. Very disappointing.

As to why plants of different provenance bloom at different times even if they are of the same species, maybe you could think of it this way: every species has some genetic variability within the species. A group of specimens growing in a certain area would tend to produce seedlings that bloomed at several different times. However, the seedlings that bloomed at the best time for that location would have a natural advantage over the seedlings that bloomed a little too early, or a little too late. Therefore, by natural selection, the bloom time that is best for the area would eventually become the most commonly found genetically-programmed bloom time amongst plants in that area. In other words, the gene pool of seedlings in that location would have been narrowed.

Similarly, seedlings from a different part of the country would slowly narrow their genetic pool to reflect whatever bloom time is best for their location. When you then order plants from the two different locations, even though you are now growing them in identical conditions, their bloom times will continue to be influenced by their genetic programming as well as their current growing conditions-- and this will be true for as long as those two plants live, even if they are growing side-by-side.

Does that make sense? I realize that I'm not explaining it very clearly. :(

(Maybe another way to understand it is to think about humans: we are all one species, but we look a lot different according to our ethnic backgrounds because when groups of people were isolated geographically from other groups, an unusual or recessive trait-- red hair, for example-- had the opportunity of becoming very common within that specific isolated population.)


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Hi. I am new to the forum. I have Viburnum trilobum and I am thinking of getting Viburnum plicatum v tomentosum. I am still a bit confused on the cross pollinating issue. Will these two cross pollinate each other? Thanks for the help in advance.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Not likely, to no. These two species are not closely related.

For your V. trilobum - get another V. trilobum clone (different) or V. sargentii or V. opulus.

For a Doublefile Viburnum (V. p. var. t.), you'll want another different Doublefile Viburnum clone.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

So excited to have found this thread!! I am in NE KS/5b and have a new mixed shrub bed with 4 'Alleghany' and want to do another close by area for screening purposes. I would like to know if all the ones Pops listed are compatible with the 'Alleghany' and how do I find out which ones do well here and if there are any that will be evergreen here? Also, because these will be in a row in back of a mixed bed, won't it look better to have just one cultivar ? (I'm assuming each would have different heights)


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

Looking back at pops post (if you are talking about the one where he mentions the partners for 'Cree'), those are all just fine - and they should be hardy for you.

To determine success of those selections in your area, check in with garden centers that have extensive offerings, or your local extension service, or give a shout out to Classic Viburnums, which is not too far away in Upland, Nebraska.

Variety is the spice of life, and the key to cross-pollination in viburnums. One selection would be just boring.


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RE: Viburnums pollination, propagation, provenance: Oh my!

VV: I will check into the resources you suggested and having the NE source is a real plus. Thanks for the info!
Liz


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