Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Northern Arrowwood - Viburnum recognitum   Fernald
Members of Viburnaceae:
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Section 6 » Order Dipsacales » Family Viburnaceae
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AuthorFernald
DistributionFound throughout the eastern and central Piedmont, but scarce to absent in the northwestern portion. Occurs over a large portion of the Coastal Plain, but tends to follow certain rivers/streams and not others. In the Mountains, sparsely found in the southern counties only, north to Buncombe County. The county distribution follows data gathered by Sorrie for his treatment in FNA (not yet published). The BONAP map does seem to show the correct overall range for this taxon, at least in NC.

Of the several species split off from the former V. dentatum (broad sense), this is the northernmost of the three species found in NC. It ranges from eastern Canada south to central GA and northeastern AL.
AbundanceApparently fairly common to frequent across most of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain. Rare in the foothills and Mountains, and may be completely absent from the northern Mountains.
HabitatThis is primarily a wetland species, found in bottomlands, stream banks, wet thickets, marshes, and seepages, less so in moist/mesic forests.
See also Habitat Account for Shoreline Shrublands
PhenologyBlooms from late March to May, and fruits from July to September.
IdentificationThis is a medium-sized deciduous shrub with opposite leaves, ranging to about 5-10’ tall. It is very similar to V. dentatum (strict sense), and it often grows over the same parts of the state. V. recognitum typically has narrower leaves than the latter, being ovate and about 3-4” long and less than 3” wide; V. dentatum has more rounded/rotund leaves on average. Also, the leaves are generally glabrous below, except for some hairs on veins or in vein axils. As this is a recent split, it is likely that many people are unfamiliar with making a distinction among V. recognitum, V. carolinianum, and the strict-sense V. dentatum, and have been mainly concerned with distinguishing this group from V. rafinesqueanum. Thus, identification of this group of viburnums in the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont is tricky, and take care when separating V. recognitum from V. dentatum.
Taxonomic CommentsAs mentioned above, only in recent years has it been generally conceded that the original V. dentatum did include a handful of taxa that merited separation as good species on their own. Note that V. recognitum was named as V. dentatum var. lucidum in RAB (1968).

Other Common Name(s)Southern Arrowwood (!), Smooth Arrowwood
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