You are here
Snowball Bush Viburnum
In 1794, Jefferson included "gelder rose" in his "objects for the garden this year." On April 16, 1807, he further documented the planting of this shrub on the North East and South East shrub circle of Monticello Mountain. He also lists the "gelder rose" in his 1804 plans for a garden or pleasure grounds.
This sterile (fruitless) garden form was known in Europe by 1554 and has been a garden favorite ever since.The flowers, described in 1770 as "balls of snow, lodged in a pleasing manner all over its head", have inspired other common names such as Whitsun-boss, Love-roses, and Pincushion-tree. Bernard McMahon included "Viburnum opulus americanum Guelder Rose-leaved Viburnum," in his American Gardener's Calendar (1806).
This shrub is a hardy, deciduous, late spring-flowering one with large, showy, spherical clusters of white or green-tinted white, sterile blossoms that sometimes turn pink and leaves become purple-tinted in autumn.