A shrub from three to six feet high. Leaves. - Somewhat three-lobed, resembling those of the maple, downy underneath. Flowers. - White, small, in flat-topped clusters. Calyx. - Five-toothed. Corolla. - Spreading, five-lobed. Stamens. - Five. Pistil. - One. Fruit. - Berry-like, crimson, turning purple.
Perhaps our flowering shrubs contribute even more to the beauty of the early-summer woods and fields than the smaller plants. Along many of the lanes which intersect the woodlands the viburnums are conspicuous in June. When the blossoms of the dockmackie have passed away we need not be surprised if we are informed that this shrub is a young maple. There is certainly a resemblance between its leaves and those of the maple, as the specific name indicates. To be sure, the first red, then purple berries, can scarcely be accounted for, but such a trifling incongruity would fail to daunt the would-be wiseacre of field and forest. With Napoleonic audacity he will give you the name of almost any shrub or flower about which you may inquire. Seizing upon some feature he has observed in another plant, he will immediately christen the one in question with the same title - somewhat modified, perhaps - and in all probability his authority will remain unquestioned. There is a marvellous amount of inaccuracy afloat in regard to the names of even the commonest plants, owing to this wide-spread habit of guessing at the truth and stating a conjecture as a fact.