Southern Arrow-wood – Viburnum dentatum

Southern Arrowwood berries
Southern Arrowwood berries

A native shrub growing to 9 feet and spreading to 8 feet. It produces bluish-black drupes  from August to November. The berries are very attractive to wildlife. The birds who feed on it tend to be the common flicker, eastern phoebe, brown thrasher, American robin, eastern bluebird, white and red-eyed vireos, and pileated woodpecker.  The ruffed grouse, brown thrasher, and gray catbird use it for shelter for cover and nesting.

The common name of arrow-wood comes from the fact that the stems were used to make arrows by the eastern woodlands Indians. Viburnum species have been used for various medical purposes in the past. The Iroquois used a decoction of the twigs to prevent pregnancy; a compound poultice was applied to the swollen legs of a woman after childbirth.


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