Closeup of Koreanspice Viburnum flowers. They appear light pink and some buds have not yet opened.

Koreanspice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii)

Intensely fragrant.

  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 7
  • Height: 4-6’
  • Spread:  4-7’
  • Exposure:  Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Fall Color: Red
  • Bloom Color: White

Why we Love it: 
Koreanspice Viburnum offers multi-season interest. Distinctive red buds precede highly fragrant Spring flowers. Come Fall, the shrub is adorned in red again as the leaves turn color. 

The flowers alone are a great reason to plant Koreanspice Viburnum. Oft-enjoyed for their delightful fragrance, they provide great visual interest as well. The blooms are clustered into showy balls. They typically mature from pink to white and sometimes maintain a pink tinge. 

Koreanspice Viburnum is a relatively low maintenance and slow growing shrub. Additionally, it has been recognized by the University of Wisconsin Extension as showing resistance to Viburnum Leaf Beetle.

Know Before You Plant:
Rabbits have been known to chew on this variety, so appropriate protection may be needed. The best time to prune Koreanspice Viburnum is immediately after flowering.

As you choose a location to plant, keep in mind two things: fragrance and salt. Consider where you will best be able to enjoy the fragrance in Spring – whether that is near an open window or in a garden bed with a small sitting area. Make sure you also choose a location where it is safe from salt. Koreanspice Viburnum produces buds without scales and is thus susceptible to salt spray injury.

Where It Thrives:
Koreanspice Viburnum can be used as a specimen, in a shrub border, or as a foundation plant. It tolerates a range of soil types so long as they are well-drained; it will not tolerate standing water. Plant in full sun for the best flowering.