Comprehensive Description

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Southern Arrow-Wood is very similar in appearance to Smooth Arrow-Wood (Viburnum recognitum), except its leaf undersides are more hairy and they are never whitened. Another species, Viburnum molle (Soft-Leaved Arrow-Wood), differs from Southern Arrow-Wood by having leaves that are more cordate in shape and berries that are more narrowly ovoid in shape. The leaves of Soft-Leaved Arrow-Wood also tend to have more pairs of teeth along their margins (often exceeding 20 pairs per leaf). Another similar species, Viburnum rafinesquianum (Downy Arrow-Wood), is a smaller shrub (up to 6' tall) with smaller leaves (up to 3" in length). The leaves of Downy Arrow-Wood also tend to have fewer pairs of teeth along their margins (less than 10 pairs per leaf) than those of Southern Arrow-Wood. Within the Viburnum genus, species in the Arrow-Wood group have leaves with coarse dentate teeth and their flowers are malodorous. In contrast, species in the Viburnum group have leaves with fine teeth and their flowers are sweetly scented.


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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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