Viburnum dentatum 'Blue Muffin'
|Serrations are even more pronounced on the new leaves, which also have a healthy gleam |
Purchased by mail-order as a tiny shrub, this plant had the misfortunate of being overshadowed by neighboring shrubs and a large hawthorn tree for most of its life. Finally, ten years later, the hawthorn came down, and Blue Muffin is finally coming into its own. It had always flowered a bit, but failed to produce its signature blue berries when it was shaded out. The photo at top right shows the first modest berry production in the year the shade was lifted – not great, but promising better shows in future years. Fall color is pretty nice as well.
|This specimen is the plain species (I believe). It has been growing in our front yard for a few years, and has finally reached flowering age.
|Hardly any fruit set in early years, resulting in funny-looking single-berry "clusters". |
|'Blue Muffin' fall coloration (late October) |
We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.
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Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|Dave in Wisconsin||Apr 16, 2006||The Blue Muffin Viburnum is new to me. I don't know how hold your comments are about your Viburnum not yet getting berries, so I wonder if it's done any better since you wrote this comment.|
My previous comments were from last year - let's see how it does this year. Too early to tell.
|Marie in New Brunswick, Canada||Jul 23, 2006||We planted the Bluemuffin Viburnum this spring and have had flowers and starting to berry now. However we have noticed the leaves of tips of stems have blackened and fallen off. What can be causing this?|
I don't know - I don't believe I've seen the same thing happen to mine. I hope yours recovers.
|Miriam||Aug 06, 2006||I put my Blue Muffin in a year ago here in Bellingham, WA - this year it has been attacked by viburnum leaf beetles, which almost completely defoliated it twice - once by the larvae and again by the adult beetles. I am probably going to take it out all together, since I have other viburnums in my garden, and I don't want to hassle with controlling the bugs.|
|Penny in Ontario Canada||Sep 30, 2006||I purchases my Blue muffin a couple of years ago from a mail order source. Because of its small size I planted it in a wee flower garden to see how it did before I found a permanent place for it in my zone 4b garden. The first year it did fine and about doubled in size. These past 2 years it has been completlyly defoliated twice as Miriam said. Just today while cleaning up I noticed that it has all its leaves back and it is starting to show good fall colour. I think I will give it one more year to see if it behaves a little better.|
|Deborah in upstate NY||Mar 22, 2009||I've read that most of the viburnums aren't self-pollinating, and need more than 1 of the species to produce berries. I haven't had any luck with getting berries on the various viburnums I have. Curious as to whether you have any 1-specimen viburnums that do produce berries.|
My experience matches yours, for the most part. I have yet to notice berries on 'Blue Muffin', supposedly grown for its blue fruit. But then, at least half of the viburnums growing in our garden are hybrids, which may just be sterile by design.
|Pam||Aug 01, 2009||We have a mature, fruit bearing high bush cranberry, and recently planted the blue muffin bush close by. When we planted the blue muffin there some flowers on it-could I expect berries this winter? Other gardening sites have commented on viburnums needing each other to pollinate. |
Those are two different species of viburnum - I don't know to what extent they would pollinate each other. Our Blue Muffin has yet to set fruit, even though we have another (plain-species) V. dentatum planted not far away.
|AH||Nov 17, 2009||We installed small Blue Muffin for a screenage planting five years ago. They were chewed to the ground by rabbits the first year but rebounded wonderfully. We really haven't had much show in the fruit department. The first two years fruit started to develop but was knocked off by heavy rains and hail and I discovered my hubby liked to flick some off too. I'm much more satisfied with this plant's spring flower, dense branching habit and rapid growth than I am the fruit or fall color. I still think it is a winner! |
|Nancy in Chicago||Nov 25, 2009||I just planted Blue Muffin and found your site looking for info on it. Thought I would leave a comment about the berries on my other Viburnums. I have 3 Viburnum dentatum "Autumn Jazz" and also 1 of the species (all about 7-8 years old). They do get small dark blue berries but I would estimate only 2 or 3 berries per flower cluster. The berries are something you would miss if you weren't really looking for them (not spectacular). They are darker than the blue berries I've seen pictured for Blue Muffin and there are much fewer of them, and the birds eat them. These shrubs are in dappled shade, though, so maybe they would get more berries if they were in full sun. Their fall color is nice: yellow tinged with orange and red. I also have a mature Highbush Cranberry that blooms nicely and produces pretty red berries, they are much larger than the berries on the Dentatum types. However, the shrub is about 10' tall and the berries are mostly at the top where they don't always show up as well, and the birds LOVE these berries. The berries are all gone in a day or so. The fall color is yellow, it's nice but not outstanding. In my opinion the flowers are the nicest feature of this bush. It looks spectacular in May and it has grown quickly to create a nice screen along my fence. In addition to these, I have a Viburnum Lantana "Mohican" which produces large black berries, but some years it has lots of berries and other years, very few. Perhaps related to the weather in the spring. The birds and squirrels like these berries, too. This plant is very drab in the fall, the leaves turn brown and just drop off, and so the berries are really its best fall feature. It too looks nicest in April/May --it is one of the very earliest Viburnum to bloom-- and has grown quickly to create a thick screen. My two other Viburnum are the "Doublefile" and "Snowball" (Opulus nanum) types and I believe they are sterile because I have never seen them produce berries. The Opulus Nanum has really nice fall color--yellow w/ orange and red. |
|Donna||Aug 21, 2011||Just wondering if people can eat the berries off a blue muffin|
|Dave||Mar 19, 2012||In order to get berries, Blue Muffin requires another variety that blooms at the same time to pollinate. Actually Autumn Jazz works perfectly for me. Plant Autumn Jazz and Blue Muffin in the same vicinity and you should have tons of berries. We have so many that the branches bow under the weight! Some birds and the squirrels seem to love the berries also, but they do stay long enough to be decorative. |
|Patti||Jun 06, 2012||I planted the blue muffin Viburnums last spring 2011 when they were only a foot tall.. Im in zone 5 Western NY and they have blossomed beautiful white flowers this spring 2012 and have doubled in size, I did get blueberries in late summer early fall on mine the first year that I planted them.. (last year)and the beautiful dark green leaves turned a gorgeous bright red/orange in the fall... I planted one on each side of my paved driveway and plan on keeping them trimmed about 5'x5 each... I really love the fact that they are growing so fast.... Mine gets late afternoon/early evening sun... |
|Patti||Jun 06, 2012||As for your answer Donna, "NO" they are dangerous to eat for humans but it is ok for wildlife to eat the berries, So please do not consume any blue muffin Viburnums..|
|Ralph||Jun 21, 2012||My Blue Muffin gets eaten by something every year, and never gets berries - what could be eating the leaves in the Spring?
|Marybeth||Dec 22, 2012||To answer Ralph.... Deer eat my Blue muffin Viburnums all the time. I have 4 planted in a curve
Behind a feature urn so now I shear them all together for a more formal look. I lose out on flowers and berries now which is a shame as they were putting on a nice display(they are about 5 years old now).
I feel it looks better than having one side all eaten down and the other blooming. They do have a nice reddish tinge on the new growth so shearing them at least gives me that!|
|Avery||Jun 29, 2016||I have a blue Muffin here in New Jersey that has tons of berries now in June but they are small and green. Will they turn blue as time goes on? I just planted autumn jazz and little Joe also. |
Yep, they will turn blue in the fall. Should be nice!
|Danielle Finley||Sep 01, 2019||Is this safe for pet rabbits to eat?|
It's not known as a toxic plant, but I'm no expert on bunny nutrition...
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