Red Feather® Arrowwood Viburnum

Viburnum dentatum ‘J.N. Select’

Description & Overview

A Johnson’s Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Red Feather® Arrowwood Viburnum was picked out of a block of seedlings because of its two-tone maroon and green new growth. The leaves have the appearance of feathers at the base of an arrow. With a reliable, rich reddish-purple fall color, this plant is sure to make a statement in any location!

Core Characteristics

Wisconsin Native: No – Variety of North American Native
Mature Height: 8-10 feet
Mature Spread: 8-10 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate
Growth Form: Upright shrub
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Site Requirements: Adaptable to many soils, prefers rich, well drained sites
Flower: White clusters
Bloom Period: June
Foliage: Maroon-red to Green
Fall Color: Red-Purple
Fruit Notes: Berries, self-infertile

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Suggested Uses:

Red Feather® Arrowwood Viburnum is a medium-large shrub, so care should be taken when siting the plant. Its dense branching does especially well as a screen, shrub border, or large hedge.

Wildlife Value:

As Red Feather® Arrowwood Viburnum is self-infertile, you must plant two specimens to produce fruit. When the berries are produced all sorts of birds and small mammals will flock to the shrub. Eastern Bluebird, Robins, and Northern Flicker can all be seen consuming the ripe fruits in late summer.

If you don’t have a cross pollinating plant, you will still see the shrub alive with Butterfly and Bee activity in June when the large flower clusters bloom. This plant is also a larval host to the Spring Azure butterfly.

Maintenance Tips:

Once Red Feather® Arrowwood Viburnum has established in your landscape (5 years after planting), you may use Thinning Cuts to keep the shrub full and healthy. If you desire a more tidy appearance, consider using the Haircut Method of pruning to keep the top full and bushy.

If deer browse is problematic, use a repellent spray like Bobbex to protect the shrub in winter.


Red Feather® Arrowwood Viburnum has no major insect or disease issues and is more resistant to the Viburnum Crown Borer than other Viburnum species. However, the insect is attracted to stressed plants and could be problematic in especially wet periods. If borer damage is suspected, you may use a systemic insecticide containing Imidacloprid. Be warned, however, as this insecticide will also poison the flowers for pollinators.

If animal browse is a problem, use a repellent like Bobbex or a mesh wrap to protect the plant.

Leaf Lore:

Red Feather® Arrowwood Viburnum was selected in the early 1980’s by Mike Yanny due to its unique two-toned foliage in spring. The leaves emerge maroon and slowly turn to green as they expand. By midsummer, the leaves are a healthy green. In June, the plant is covered in white clusters of flowers that attract a number of insects and hungry birds. Like all viburnums (excluding the invasive European Cranberrybush), Red Feather® Arrowwood Viburnum is self-infertile and requires a second plant in order to set fruit.

One of Red Feather® Arrowwood Viburnum’s greatest ornamental characteristics is its consistent and long-lasting maroon fall color, even in Southeast Wisconsin. As Arrowwood Viburnum is a more southern species, this level of performance is not easily matched by other cultivars.

Arrowwood Viburnum earned its name through its straight stems used for arrow shafts.

Companion Plants:

If using Red Feather® Arrowwood Viburnum as a shrub border, pair it with Common Purple Lilac cultivars, shrub-form J.N. Strain Musclewood, or Redosier Dogwood. As a specimen plant in the landscape, take care to give it room to grow and surround it with perennials. As the shrub grows larger, these can easily be transplanted away from the base of the plant.

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