Viburnum dentatum var. venosum flowers Stephen M. Young

Viburnum dentatum var. venosum flowers
Stephen M. Young

Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)
State Protection
Federal Protection
Not Listed
State Conservation Status Rank
Global Conservation Status Rank


Did you know?

The true abundance of this shrub is difficult to assess, because it is often hard to access every part of a maritime shrubland and not get covered in ticks! That is why most occurrences are known from road or trailsides where they are easily seen.

State Ranking Justification

There are 13 existing populations but only 3 of them are large and extensive. Most of them are small with fewer than 10 plants. There are 5 additional historical locations and no additional plants have been found.

Short-term Trends

Current populations seems stable, although some smaller groups of shrubs along the edges of highways may be affected by road maintenance or development.

Long-term Trends

This shrub has always been rare in New York and most of the known populations have been rediscovered. Current trends should continue into the foreseeable future.

Conservation and Management


Some plants that occur along roadsides are threatened by road maintenance that can damage them. Other plants are threatened by clearing of shrublands for developments and trails.

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices

Some disturbance of the forest is needed to provide areas that can succeed to shrubland where this species thrives. Existing shrubs need to be protected from direct disturbance by heavy machinery.

Research Needs

More precise information is needed about flowering and fruiting times compared to variety dentatum with which it occurs. Habitat preference information is also needed for the two varieties, especially where they occur in close proximity.



In New York Southern Arrowwood has been found in a variety of dry, sandy habitats near the coast, mostly dunes,shrublands, and old fields (New York Natural Heritage Program 2010). Moist or dry sandy thickets and borders of woods (Fernald 1970). Sandy soil of the coastal plain (Gleason & Cronquist 1991).

Associated Ecological Communities

  • Coastal oak-hickory forest (guide)
  • Maritime dunes (guide)
  • Maritime grassland (guide)
  • Maritime shrubland (guide)
  • Successional maritime forest* (guide)

Associated Species

  • Amelanchier canadensis
  • Myrica pensylvanica
  • Photinia
  • Prunus maritima (beach plum)
  • Prunus serotina
  • Quercus
  • Rosa rugosa (Japanese rose)
  • Rubus
  • Sambucus
  • Smilax
  • Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
  • Viburnum dentatum var. lucidum (smooth arrowwood)


New York State Distribution

The shrub is most common on Eastern Long Island with scattered historical populations from the Bronx to Orange County to Columbia County where it has been extirpated.

Global Distribution

It occurs on the coastal plain of Massachusetts and New York south to Maryland and west to Pennsylvania and Ohio. It is also disjunct in Georgia.

Best Places to See

  • Shadmoor State Park (Suffolk County)

Identification Comments

General Description

Southern Arrowwood is an opposite-branched, erect shrub growing up to 2 m tall. The leaves are opposite and simple with large teeth, mostly round, and the petioles and lower leaf surface are thickly covered with stellate (star-shaped) hairs. The lateral veins of the leaves fork at most 1-2 times, each fork extending to a tooh on the leaf margin, and the veins are raised on the lower surface. The flowers are white and borne laterally on 5-7 branched clusters. The fruit are blue-black when mature (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification

Distinguishing characteristics: young branchlets often densely pubescent; leaves thick, mostly rotund, the lower surface thickly stellate and with strongly raised veins; petioles stellate; no stipules, no stipitate- glandular hairs; hypanthium glabrous or glandular; stone ellipsoid-ovoid; habitat generally is sandy soil. Best life stage for ID: in leaf and fruit. Southern Arrowwood may be identified from the leaves, though leaves and fruiting material together are best.

Similar Species

Viburnum dentatum as a species may be separated from other Viburnum species found in New York by having a regular infloresence (marginal flowers like the central ones), unlobed, dentate leaves with the simple (or only 1-2 forked) lateral veins each extending to a tooth, cordate leaf bases, and petioles about 1/3 as long as the leaf blades. V. dentatum var. recognitum (syn. of V. dentatum var. lucidum) has mostly ovate leaves with glabrous petioles and lower leaf surfaces glabrous (sometimes pubescent only in the axils of the veins). This variety is more typical across New York and is most often found in moist habitats such as woods, shrublands, successional old fields, or swamps.

Best Time to See

Southern Arrowwood flowers from late May to early July, and the fruits may persist through September.

  • Flowering
  • Fruiting

The time of year you would expect to find Southern Arrowwood flowering and fruiting in New York.

Southern Arrowwood Images


Southern Arrowwood
Viburnum dentatum var. venosum (Britt.) Gleason

  • Kingdom Plantae
    • Phylum Anthophyta
      • Class Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
        • Order Dipsacales
          • Family Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)


  • Viburnum dentatum var. pubescens Ait
  • Viburnum pubescens (Ait.) Pursh

Additional Resources

Best Identification Reference

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

Other References

Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. D. Van Nostrand, New York. 1632 pp.

Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. 1997. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants. Contributions to a Flora of New York State. Checklist IV. Bulletin No. 490. New York State Museum. Albany, NY. 400 pp.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2010. Biotics database. New York Natural Heritage Program. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

Reschke, Carol. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Latham, NY. 96 pp. plus xi.

Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research University of South Florida]. New York Flora Association, Albany, New York


About This Guide

Information for this guide was last updated on: February 28, 2011

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. Online Conservation Guide for Viburnum dentatum var. venosum. Available from: Accessed March 19, 2019.

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