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Viburnum (lentago)

Randall Lester
Assistant Manager
USDA NRCS - Appalachian Plant Materials Center
P.O. Box 390
Alderson, West Virginia 24910
304-445-7049 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Caprifoliaceae
Family Common Name: Honeysuckle family
Scientific Name: Viburnum lentago
Common Name: Nannyberry
Species Code: VILE
Ecotype: Monongahela National Forest
General Distribution: Widely distributed throughout the northeastern and northcentral United States and the eastern 2/3 of Canada.
Known Invasiveness: Not known to be invasive.
Propagation Goal: Plants
ProductType: Container (plug)
Time To Grow: 2 years
Target Specifications: A well developed plant suitable for transplanting with at least 12" of top growth and a healthy root system.
Propagule Collection: Fruit was collected from multiple plants within the boundaries of the Monongahela National Forest from existing populations. The fruit was allowed to mature on the plant before harvesting as indicated by the bluish black color of the fruit. Fruit was collected in late October. Care should be taken to ensure the fruits do not overheat after collection because this could damage the embryo.
Propagule Processing: The pulp from the fruit was removed by rubbing on a ribbed mat. Water was then used to separate the seed from the pulp by washing it through a number 16 and number 12 sieve. Seed was air dried on paper. After air drying, the seed was processed through an aspirator to remove any remaining pulp. The seed was direct seeded into prepared flats.
Pre-Planting Treatments: No pretreatment was necessary before planting.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Pro-mix BX with biofungicide was moistened thoroughly and placed in heavy plastic trays. The soil was compacted somewhat to prepare a firm seedbed.
Establishment Phase: Seed was spread evenly on the soil surface and then covered with 1/4 inch of additional moistened soil. The top layer was pressed down slightly to ensure good seed to soil contact. Seeds of nannyberry exhibit an apparent embryo dormancy and require stratification at different temperatures. Once seeded, the trays were placed in the greenhouse (approximately 70 degrees) for 5 months for warm stratification. Trays were kept moist during this phase. The seeds send out radicles during this phase of the germination process. The trays were then moved to the cooler (34 degrees) for 3 months to allow for cold, moist stratification which helps to break the dormancy in the epicotyl (shoot).
Length of Establishment Phase: 8 months
Active Growth Phase: After the cold stratification process, the trays were moved to the greenhouse to allow for shoot development. Seedlings began to emerge after 3-4 weeks in the greenhouse. Once the seedlings had developed sufficient root systems, they were transplanted into one gallon containers filled with Metro-mix 510 growing media.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 16 months
Hardening Phase: Plants were moved to the shadehouse to allow for hardening off before being shipped back to the Monongahela National Forest.
Length of Hardening Phase: 1 month
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Healthy plants were shipped using a trailer covered with a heavy tarpaulin to protect the plants reduce wind burn.
Length of Storage: 1 week
Outplanting performance on typical sites: Nannyberry prefers moist, well-drained soils but can tolerate drier conditions. Some common habitats include low woods, swamp borders and rich valleys along streambanks. They grow well in open sites and partial shade and can tolerate a wide variety of soil pH conditions.


Lester, Randall; Vandevender, John. 2018. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Viburnum lentago Plants USDA NRCS - Appalachian Plant Materials Center Alderson, West Virginia. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/08/11). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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