Viburnum carlesii
Viburnum carlesii
Korean Spice Viburnum

Viburnum carlesii



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The scent of the pom pom flowers of Viburnum carlesii stands out in the garden - it is sublime. But this robust shrub has other charms, its ovate, prettily toothed leaves emerge a lovely copper in spring, mature to dark green in summer and create an autumnal show of burgundy. It is also pollinating, offers shelter for birds and bears shiny berries in the winter.

This many-faceted shrub is named after the botanist William Carles (b. 1848), whose career as a British diplomat in China and Korea gave him access to a wealth of previously undiscovered plants. This and his many other new finds were first sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.


The red buds of late spring open into delightfully scented and pretty pink pom poms, these mature into attractive oval, shiny berries. Please note they are toxic and will cause stomach ache.

  • Moist, well drained soil
  • Full sun, partial shade, shade
  • All aspects

This hardy plant


The flowers have a remarkable, heady scent akin to cloves