Shrub to 4 m tall Leaves: opposite, stalked, dull green, 5 - 12 cm long, egg-shaped to lance-shaped with a rounded to tapering base and short-pointed tip, finely round-toothed to wavy along the margins, thick, sometimes brown-hairy beneath. Leaf stalks 5 - 15 mm long. Flowers: in branched clusters (cymes). Cymes flat-topped, about 10 cm wide, on 5 mm - 5 cm long stalks. Corolla five-lobed, white, about 6 mm wide. Stamens five, exserted from the corolla. Anthers yellow. Stigma three-lobed. Fruit: berry-like (drupe), in clusters, bluish black with a waxy coating (glaucous), 6 - 12 mm wide, egg-shaped to rounded, single-seeded. Twigs: smooth or brown-scaly when young. Winter buds yellowish brown. Form: rounded.
Similar species: Viburnum lantana is similar but has star-shaped hairs on the leaf undersides. Viburnum prunifolium and V. lentago are also similar, but they have stalkless or nearly stalkless cymes (cymes rarely to 5 mm long).
Flowering: May to July
Habitat and ecology: Typical of wet woods and swamps, but rare in the Chicago Region.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Notes: About 200 species of Viburnum occur between North America, Europe and Asia. Many are ornamental shrubs cultivated for their showy flowers, autumn foliage, and attraction to wildlife.
Etymology: Viburnum is the Latin word for the Wayfaring tree. Nudum means naked, nude, or bare. Cassinoides means "resembling Ilex cassine," which is a species of holly.
Author: The Morton Arboretum
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
So far as it is known this species is restricted to the northern tier of counties. Found in low, sandy, black and white oak woods. Very local. There is a specimen from La Porte County in the herbarium of the University of Notre Dame. Buhl (Amer. Midland Nat. 16: 252. 1935) refers the report of Pepoon to V. affine or its variety.
Lvs dull, firmer than in var. nudum, indistinctly veiny, ovate to lanceolate or oblanceolate, tending to be bluntly short-acuminate, rounded to tapering at base, crenulate, varying to seldom entire; winter-buds yellow-brown or golden; peduncles 5-25 mm, avg 13 mm at anthesis; drupe with elliptic or oblong- elliptic stone and sweet pulp; more northern, extending s. mainly in the mts. to N.C., Ga., and Ala. (V. cassinoides)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.