While many gardeners in northern states probably have never heard of this viburnum, in Florida and other mild winter climates it is a very popular landscaping shrub. Viburnum suspensum is a handsome evergreen with a spreading habit and coarse texture. It has an attractive compact form growing to 6-12 ft (1.8-3.7 m) in height with about an equal spread if left untrimmed. The coarse leaves are dark green and densely cover the shrub. They are oval with serrated edges about 3.5 in (9 cm) long and 2 in (5 cm) wide and are held oppositely on rough textured, dark brown stems. In late winter and sporadically throughout the spring and summer the sandanqua produces small waxy tubular flowers held in tight panicles (flower cluster) that are 1.5 in (3.8 cm) in diameter. Flowers are white with pinkish tints and give way to small round red berries in autumn.
Sandanqua viburnum is native to Okinawa and other members of the Ryukyu Islands, a chain of Japanese islands northeast of Taiwan.
sandanqua viburnum fruits
In spring both ripe fruit (for the birds!) and flowers are present on this handsome shrub.
Moist, well-drained, fertile soil. Prune as needed in spring and summer to control fast-growing shoots and to maintain the desired shape and size.
Light: Part sun to shade.
Hardiness: USDA zones 8-10.
Propagation: Hardwood to semi-hardwood cuttings.
Splendid foundation shrub in temperate zones. Planted on 3 ft (0.9 m) centers, these will grow together and have a pleasing appearance all year. The sandanqua is a good choice for trimmed hedges of medium height and you'll often see it put to such use in commercial landscapes screen parking lots and other eyesores. Use it as part of a stacked grouping of shrubs - flowering plants look even more vibrant in front of its distinctive dark green foliage.
Jack grows sandanqua viburnum beneath some sabal palms where it maintains nice dense foliage despite the shade.
Sandanqua viburnum is a reliable and trouble-free evergreen shrub with a fairly rapid growth rate. It is inexpensive and readily available from garden center stores in areas where it grows.
Viburnum is a huge genus with hundreds of species many of which are used in landscaping. In Florida where I live, in addition to the sandanqua, sweet viburnum (V. odoratissimum) and laurestinus (V. tinus) are other favorites. Gardeners in more northerly climes can enjoy leatherleaf (V. rhytidophyllum), David (V.davidii), Prague (V. x pragense), Burkwood's (V. x burkwoodii), arrow-wood (V. dentatum) and rusty black-haw (V. rufidulum) to name just a few of my favorites.