This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Shrubs or trees, evergreen or deciduous. Leaves simple, with or without stipules. Flowers small, jointed on the pedicel, in terminal or axillary cymes, corymbs or panicles, pink or white, outer flowers sometimes larger and barren. Calyx-limb minute. Corolla rotate, regular, 5-lobed. Stamens 5. Fruit a 1-seeded dry or fleshy terete or flattened drupe. A considerable genus, abounding in the temperate and warm regions of the north and extending to the Andes of South America. Derivation of the generic name uncertain.
1. V. Tinus (fig. 118). Lau-restine or Laurustinus. - This needs no further comment than to mention that there are several varieties in cultivation, differing in the size and hairiness, or in the lighter or darker tint of the foliage. The variegated form is by no means desirable. The ordinary form is perhaps the most free-flowering. The variety stricta, with very dark foliage, is perhaps a little hardier than the common one, though neither so graceful nor so free-flowering. It is a native of the South of Europe, and the only evergreen species generally cultivated.
2. V. Lantana. Wayfaring Tree. - A native shrub or small tree in South Britain. It grows from 16 to 20 feet high, and is clothed with a scaly or mealy tomentum. Leaves rugose, oblong, cordate at the base, serrulate. Flowers all perfect, white, in large flat cymes, appearing in May or June, succeeded by red eventually black flattened drupes.
Fig. 118. Viburnum Tinus. (1/3 nat. size.)
3. V. Opulus. Guelder Rose, Snowball Tree. - Leaves variously lobed or deeply toothed. In the wild form only the outer flowers are sterile, but there is a common cultivated variety (fig. 119) in which they are all barren. There is also a dwarf variety.
Fig. 119. Viburnum Opulus. (1/3 nat. size.)
V. macrocephalum, from China, is near V. Lantana in foliage and habit, and the variety in cultivation bears enormous panicles of white neutral flowers. V. plicatum, also from North China, in its globular heads of neutral flowers resembles the Guelder Rose, differing, however, in the plaited oblong-orbicular serrate leaves. V. rugdsum is a Canary Islands evergreen shrub with broadly ovate rugose hirsute leaves and large terminal cymes of white and pink flowers. V. macrophyllum is a Japanese species with very large glabrous foliage.