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Proper name for a snowball bush

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#1 Guest_LJM_*

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Posted 02 July 2004 - 10:46 PM

I am trying to get some info about the snowball bush, but unable to locate it in my Dirr manual - what's the scientific name. The only name I can find is wild snowball and the description is not the bush I am thinking about. the bush I have in mind looks similar to a hydrangea.
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#2 Guest_<Lauren>_*

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Posted 03 July 2004 - 02:22 PM

I could be wrong, but if it's the same plant as mine it is a viburnum.
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#3 Guest_<Luann Davis, MSG alum>_*

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 07:47 AM

It's probably Hydrangea arborescens 'annabelle'. That's what mine is. My grandmother called it a snowball bush. Viburnums have different leaves.
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#4 Janet Macunovich

Janet Macunovich
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Posted 05 July 2004 - 05:41 PM

Aren't common names fun? Viburnum opulus 'Sterilis' may be the plant most often in people's minds, in the Midwest, when they say "snowball tree" or "snowball bush" followed by Hydrangea arborescens. (Of interest, V. opulus 'Sterilis' was one of two woody plants most often planted by settlers here in the 1950's, as judged by orders to nurseries and surveys by historical-landscaping specialists; the other was one or another rose.)

But then there are the fragrant round-cluster-flower viburnums sometimes called fragrant snowball: V. carlesii, V. juddii, V. x burkwoodii, V. carlecephalum and V. bitchiuense, all hardy here and loved. And V. farreri and its hybrid offspring V. x bodnatense, which have round fragrant white flower clusters, too, smaller than the other viburnums listed here but so much earlier to blooma that they're more deserving of the name some people give them, snowball bush.

But of all of them, V. opulus 'Sterilis' is the front runner.

Oh... there's Ceanothus americanus, a shrub called "wild snowball", about to come into bloom. Smaller flowers but also round and white...

, Senior Instructor, The Michigan School of Gardening, fresh from studying up at University of Wisconsin's and University of Minnesota's arboreta for a talk she has to give on Viburnums this fall
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