Viburnum nudum

Viburnum nudum is a deciduous shrub in the genus Viburnum within the muskroot family, Adoxaceae (It was formerly part of Caprifoliaceae, the honeysuckle family).[2]

Viburnum nudum
Viburnum nudum 10zz.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Dipsacales
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Viburnum
V. nudum
Binomial name
Viburnum nudum

One variety of the species is Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides; synonyms for this variety Viburnum nitidum Aiton, Viburnum cassinoides, Viburnum cassinoides var. harbisonii, Viburnum cassinoides var. nitidum, and Viburnum nitidum.[2][3]

Common names for the plant include withe-rod, witherod viburnum, possumhaw, and wild raisin.[2]


Viburnum nudum is a shrub with opposite, simple leaves, on slender stems. The flowers are white, borne in late spring.


It is native to North America from southern Ontario and Quebec to Newfoundland, south to Florida, and west to Wisconsin.[3]


The fruit is eaten by wildlife, and deer browse the foliage.[4] It is a larval host to spring azures and hummingbird clearwing moths.[5]

Conservation status in the United StatesEdit

It is listed as endangered in Kentucky and Pennsylvania[6] and as special concern species and believed extirpated in Connecticut.[7]

Native American ethnobotanyEdit


The Abenaki use the fruit[8]:152 and the grains of var. cassinoides [8]:173 for food. The Algonquin people eat the berries of var. cassinoides.[9]

Medicinal useEdit

The Cherokee have several medicinal uses for Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides. They take an infusion of it to prevent recurrent spasms, use the root bark as a diaphoretic and a tonic, and take a compound infusion of it for fever, smallpox and ague. They also use an infusion of the bark as a wash for a sore tongue.[10]


  1. ^ Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI).; IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group. (2019). "Viburnum nudum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T144047738A149042014. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-2.RLTS.T144047738A149042014.en. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
  3. ^ a b NRCS PLANTS Database
  4. ^ Little, Elbert L. (1980). The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Eastern Region. New York: Knopf. p. 673. ISBN 0-394-50760-6.
  5. ^ Adelman, Lauren. "The Joy of Butterfly Host Plants". Lewis Ginter Arboretum. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Plants Profile for Viburnum nudum (possumhaw)". Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Connecticut's Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern Species 2015". State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Bureau of Natural Resources. Retrieved December 23, 2017. (Note: This list is newer than the one used by and is more up-to-date.)
  8. ^ a b Rousseau, Jacques (1947). Ethnobotanique Abenakise, Archives de Folklore 11:145-182.
  9. ^ Black, Meredith Jean (1980). Algonquin Ethnobotany: An Interpretation of Aboriginal Adaptation in South Western Quebec, Ottawa. National Museums of Canada. Mercury Series Number 65, page 107.
  10. ^ Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey, 1975, Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History, Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co., page 62
  11. ^ Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. (1913). An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3:273.