Sunday, April 24, 2016


The viburnum out back is in flower:

I can't make out from our Audubon Society field guide what sort of viburnum it is; it is not a Possumhaw Viburnum, having flowers that are too large; and the others named in the guide seem to have smaller flowers.

It struck me that Virgil mentions viburnums. I find on checking Perseus that this is in the first Eclogue: roughly, "Rome has raised her head among other cities as cypresses do among pliant viburnums." But of course Virgil's viburnums are no more Possumhaw Virburnums than ours is. The household dictionary gives the Linnean name as "viburnum lantana". The editor Robert Coleman proposes either the "wayfaring tree" (in fact, viburnum lantana) or the  "guelder rose" (viburnum opulus).


  1. Viburnum plicatum mariesii perhaps?

    Certainly very lovely