- native to eastern Asia
- hardy to zone 5
- Special Note: This species has demonstrated an invasive tendency in Connecticut, meaning it may escape from cultivation and naturalize in minimally managed areas. For more information, .
Habit and Form
- a multistemmed, deciduous shrub
- overall shape is upright to rounded
- some plants become a bit leggy at the base
- some plants maintain dense foliage to the ground
- 8' to 10' tall
- 6' to 10' wide
- opposite, simple leaves
- obovate to broad-elliptic leaves in most cases
- leaves vary from nearly round to nearly straplike on the same plant
- 2" to 5" long and 1" to 2.5" wide
- scalloped margins resulting in coarse, irregular teeth
- color is dark green, usually lustrous
- can be russet red, bronze or burgundy
- fall color is inconsistent, but often good
- leaves drop relatively late in the fall
- small creamy white flowers in flattened clusters
- clusters are 3" to 5" in diameter
- bloom time is May to early June
- flower clusters are usually numerous
- blooming can be showy
- bright red
- borne in flattened clusters
- individual fruits are only 0.33" in diameter
- fruit colors in September and October and persists into December
- late in the fall the fruit shrivels and looks like red raisins
- planting several clones aids fruit set
- stems are brown with prominent orange lenticels
- stems are densely pubescent
- older stems are more gray-brown
- full sun to light shade
- easily transplanted and established
- does best in moist, fertile soil
- slightly acidic or neutral pH is ideal
- showy for flowers, high quality summer foliage and red fruit
- mass plantings
- no serious insect or disease problems
- occasionally needs to have dead or weakened branches pruned out
- densely pubescent stems
- upper and lower leaf surfaces are pubescent, especially along the veins
- stems have prominent orange lenticels
- most easily confused with V. wrightii and often is in the trade
- V. wrightii lacks the heavy pubescence on leaves and stems and its leaves have a waxy bloom
- the fruits of V. dilatatum are somewhat elongated and those of V. wrightii are more flattened and larger
- V. dilatatum blooms after V. wrightii
- by cuttings
- by seed
'Catskill' - A dwarf form with compact growth, this plant has a uniform habit wider than tall (to 6' tall and 8' wide). The leaves are smaller and rounded with fall color that is a blend of yellow, orange and red. It produces long-lasting deep red fruit.
'Erie' - This rounded plant reaches 6'-8' tall with excellent fruit effects. The drupes ripen red in summer and progress to coral-pink by winter. In autumn, the leaves turn to shades of red, orange and yellow.
'Henneke' (Cardinal Candy) - This selection may be the hardiest cultivar available, surving after exposure to -25 F. It is well-branched, growing to 6' tall with good production of flowers and bright red fruit.
'Iroquois' - Probably the best form available, this plant is exceptional in foliage and fruit. The leaves are large, thick and dark green, turning orange to deep red in fall. The fruit are large, deep red and borne in such profusion that the stems of this vigorous 10' shrub may literally bow under their weight.
'Michael Dodge' - One of the newest forms, this selection from Delaware is remarkable for its heavy production of bright yellow fruit on a large 8'-12' shrub. Other traits are similar to the species. 'Xanthocarpum' is an older form with fruit that is an amber yellow color. The fruit are not produced as abundantly as with the new, better fruiting selections.
'Oneida' - This hybrid selection is not rated as highly as 'Erie' and 'Iroquois', but nonetheless produces good quantities of red fruit that persist into early winter. It has an upright, spreading habit to 10' tall and wide with leaves that turn yellow to orange-red in fall. The plant is unusual due to its sporadic flowering after the initial May flush and its smoother stems and leaves.