Viburnum can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs with opposite, simple or palmate lobed leaves and clusters of small, often fragrant white or pink flowers, followed by red, blue or black berries. It can reach 6m but most are less than 3m. They will never be classic bonsai as they are shrubs rather than trees and rarely form a trunk of any consequence. However they have relatively small leaves and colourful flowers and can make attractive informal bonsai. They are not easy to train as the branches are brittle and hard to respond to wiring.


Burkwoodii is a lax evergreen shrub to 2.5m tall, with glossy dark green, ovate leaves and highly fragrant white or pale pink flowers in mid and late spring.

Opulus roseum - snowball tree, attractive large flowers, maybe disproportionately large with a relatively slender trunk – maybe the least ideal for a bonsai.


Viburnum davidii, is a gorgeous evergreen shrub growing around 3-4ft high and wide. It processes handsome, glossy dark green, deeply veined foliage which are retained through the harshest of winter weather. Large heads of white flowers persist across the entire plant through autumn and are a nice contrast to the foliage. These are followed by turquoise berries.

Viburnaum tinus/Laurustinus has flattened heads of white flowers from December to April, followed by dark blue-black fruit. This long-flowering plant is perfect for brightening partly shady areas when little else is in flower. Are easy to grow, with dark green foliage. Can be hard pruned in late spring. Not seriously prone to pests but aphids may be a problem. They can also be affected by leaf spot and honey fungus.



This is a species not generally suited to be created as a bonsai but is best displayed to show off its foliage.


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