I have been growing Shindo Viburnums (Viburnum awabuki ‘Shindo’) for over fifteen years, in both of my North Carolina gardens, and this is the first year in either location that I have actually had flowers in bloom. I am delighted. Now I can look forward to its reported red berries in the fall (that is, of course, if the hungry critters in my neighborhood will leave them alone).
This plant was collected in 1985 from Shindo Island off Korea by the late J. C. Raulston of the NC State Arboretum and has become widely popular. My wife loves the leaves which she uses frequently as an alternative to magnolia foliage in her indoor flower arrangements. Branches will often root in water in a vase. In my previous garden two of them served as an effective and handsome fifteen foot hedge sheltered between our house and our neighbor.
Individual blossoms are tiny but form good sized clusters. As I examined the flowers more closely, I recognized a number of insects that were taking a healthy drink of the nectar in the blossoms. I noted a bumblebee and dozens of fireflies. My hope is that more fireflies will be drawn to the Shindo viburnum which will be reflected in a grand flashing display in our garden over summer evenings.
I must admit to a slight bit of apprehension seeing the first Japanese beetle of the season invading one of the clusters. It looked like it was trying to push the fireflies aside.