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The shrub Viburnum
rufidulum or rusty blackhaw is distributed
as far west as Kansas and in the states of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky (USDA, 2012).
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
2012. Natural Resources Conservation
Service; available at: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=VIRU;
accessed on: October 17, 2012.
rufidulum does not tolerate water with a high concentration
of chloride. In one experiment, Viburnum rufidulum suffered 80% leaf burn when
watered with reclaimed water, although the roots were not affected (Parnell,
Parnell, J. 1990. Reclaimed Water and Florida
Natives. Proceedings of the Florida State
Horticulture Society, 103: 377-379.
rufidulum can reach 3.5 m in height and produce seeds after 5
years (Bonner et al., 2008: 1163). The leaf petioles and undersides have rusty
hairy. The oval leaves are dark and shiny on the upper surface and can grow up
to 10 cm long (Hunter, 2000: 174). The flower buds are a reddish brown and the
flowers are white and occasionally even pinkish. The flowers are arranged flattened,
rounded and in convex cymes (a flat-topped cluster of flowers in which the
central or terminal flower opens first)(Bonner et al., 2008: 1163). The flowers
can grow up to four inches across. (Hunter, 2000: 174) The flowering dates are
primarily from March to June depending upon the region. (Bonner et al., 2008: 1163).
Pollination is by insects (Bonner et al., 2008: 1163). The dark blue fruits are
approximately 13 mm in length, elliptical (oval) and slightly flattened
(Hunter, 2000: 174). The fruit ripens September to October (producing 5,200 kg
dried fruits/kg) and seed dispersal can occur in December (Bonner et al., 2008:
F. T., Gill, J. D. & Pogge, F. L. 2008. Caprifoliaceae-Honeysuckle family,
1162-1167. In: The Woody Plant Seed
Manual: Agricultural Handbook No. 727. 1223 pp, Washington, DC. U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.
Hunter, G.C. 2000. Trees, Shrubs, & Vines of Arkansas. 203 pp, Arkansas: University
of Arkansas Press
Viburnum rufidulum is noted as a food source for most
birds, some mammals, even including foxes. The fruits, leaves, and twigs can be
eaten by herbivorous animals such as the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virgianianus) in upland forested areas (Sallee, 2002: 15).
Historically the Plains Apache utilized the plant as
a food source (one of 48 plants documented in the study), though it is unclear
exactly what part of the plant was used (Jordan, 2006: 28).
Jordan, J. 2006. Vascular Plants Utilized by the
Plains Apache in Southwestern Oklahoma. Publications
of the Oklahoma Biological Survey 7: 24-33.
Sallee, D. 2002. Use of Geographic Information
Systems and Infrared-Triggered Cameras to Assess White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virgianianus) in Denton
County, Texas. (Master of Science thesis). 106 pp. Denton, Texas: University of
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