Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Hobblebush - Viburnum lantanoides   Michaux
Members of Viburnaceae:
Members of Viburnum with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Dipsacales » Family Viburnaceae
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DistributionOccurs throughout the Mountains, and ranges eastward into the Piedmont in the Brushy Mountains (Alexander County).

This is a Northern species occurring over eastern Canada southward to central PA and northeastern OH; however, its range south of PA is restricted to the Appalachians, to extreme northern GA.
AbundanceFairly common to common at higher elevations, mainly over 4500 feet; much less common down to about 3500 feet. Very rare in the Piedmont part of the range.
HabitatThis is a species of cool and moist habitats in NC. It grows in spruce-fir forests, boulderfield forests, along seepages at higher elevations, and various other moist and often rocky forests, including Northern Hardwood Forests.
See also Habitat Account for General High Elevation Forests
PhenologyBlooms from April to early June; fruits in June and July.
IdentificationThis is a fairly familiar and distinctive deciduous shrub, growing to about 6-8 feet tall on average. It has quite large and heart-shaped opposite leaves, with slightly serrated margins, growing to about 5-6 inches long -- with the appearance of leaves of a basswood (Tilia) or a mulberry (Morus). Such opposite leaves should identify the species, but it also has an unusual inflorescence for a Viburnum, but quite like a hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.). At the tip of some branches grows a broad and convex cluster of small white flowers, but around the margins are scattered quite large but sterile flowers each about 1/2-inch across. Hydrangeas also have large and opposite leaves, but the leaves of those species are elliptical in shape and are not heart-shaped with cordate bases, and are clearly longer than wide.
Taxonomic CommentsFor much of the last century, the species was named as Viburnum alnifolium. Nearly all more recent references have it now as V. lantanoides.

Other Common Name(s)Moosewood, Witch's-hobble, Hobbleberry
State RankS4
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieSwampy woods, Norwell, MA, 1970s. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC

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