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A deciduous, strong-growing shrub 6 to 10 ft high, or a small tree with stiff, spreading branches, stellately downy and grey when young. Leaves mostly obovate or approaching oblong, pointed or rounded at the apex, and tapered at the base, prominently parallel-nerved, coarsely toothed except towards the stalk; 2 to 5 in. long, 11⁄2 to 3 in. wide, dark glossy green and glabrous above, glabrous beneath or downy, chiefly on the veins; stalk 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long. Flowers creamy white, 1⁄3 in. across, all perfect, produced in long-stalked cymes 3 to 4 in. across. Fruits oval, about 1⁄2 in. long, at first pink then blue-black.
Native of Japan; cultivated in Britain since the end of the 19th century. This is a vigorous and handsome shrub usually more in spread than it is high, distinguished by its large, strongly veined, often obovate leaves, which have a disagreeable scent when crushed. It does not flower and fruit so well in Britain as it does in climates with warmer summers and colder winters than ours. It is considered to be one of the finest of all viburnums in the northeastern United States.