Plant of the Month for Erie Colorado area landscapes-November 2022

Wayfaring Tree

Erie, CO area landscapes {Plant of the Month Series}

The Wayfaring Tree or ‘Mohican’ Viburnum is a large shrub or small tree if pruned into tree form that is noted for its profuse white, flat-topped flowers in April and May. As a member of the Viburnum Genus, species lantana, it has a tight branching structure, ovate leaves, and prefers a more rich, loamy moist soil, though it can tolerate more clay soils that are more prominent in Erie Colorado landscapes. It prefers alkaline soils which are predominant here along the Front Range. Birds will love the berries that start green, turn red in summer then black in fall. The red berries are mildly toxic and will cause upset stomach if eaten in large quantities, but once they turn black, they are not toxic at all. So, it is a safe bet for homes with pets and small children.

The flowers are also a great attractor for bees and other pollinators. It grows 8’ high and wide, and perhaps larger in ideal conditions with additional moisture. Keep that size in mind when selecting a location. A corner or larger yard back fence area is appropriate. It is somewhat drought tolerant but will require drip irrigation to establish for several years here in Colorado. It likes full sun but can handle part shade or filtered shade. It has a moderate growth rate and lots of foliage, so it is a good choice for an immediate landscape development, especially because larger shrub specimens are often available in 4’ or 5’ sizes right from the nursery. Find a spot for several in your larger landscape and enjoy.

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