Downy Arrowood Viburnum rafinesquianum
Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle)
Branching: Opposite
Other names: Short-stalk Arrowwood

Downy Arrowwood is an understory shrub that can grows between knee-height and a bit taller than a person.  Its features are easily recognized as a Viburnum due to the shape of its buds and the its growth form.  The best identification feature are its brown buds and gray twigs.  When leaves are still found on the bush, they are quite downy on the underside.  Neither the twigs nor buds are hairy, though some closely related and usually more southern, species are.  Northern Arrowwood can look similar but typically has slight vertical ridges along the upper parts of the twig and does not have downy leaves.

Winter twig and end bud of Downy Viburnum

Another view of the winter twig, showing the lateral buds.  The shape of these buds looks
very much like Cranberry and Maple-leaved Viburnums

Lateral bud and leaf scar

Another view of the end bud and leaf scar

Lateral buds, which usually have about 6 scales

Often the end of the twig is dead past the last lateral buds.  This characteristic
is very evident in Cranberry Viburnum

The entire twig

Young bark

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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