Click for previous Image Image 1 of 2 Viburnum plicatum Japanese Snowball Viburnum

Viburnum plicatum 'Nanum'

Japanese Snowball Viburnum

Plant Type:


Viburnum plicatum ‘Nanum’ – Japanese Snowball Viburnums are well known and deservedly so; this one, not so much… We hope to change that status. 'Nanum' is a truly dwarf and rare form which came our way from Environmentals Nursery. V. p. ‘Nanum’ is low, mounding and densely growing. It should not be confused with 'Nanum Semperflorens' (a.k.a. 'Watanabe') which grows taller, less dense and produces lace cap flowers. May flowers are rounded popcorn cymes which surprisingly are fertile as this shrub does set some late season red berries – not many, but some. (Many dwarf and miniature plants are trapped in “genetic juvenility” and are, therefore, sterile – incapable of fruiting. Tom Ward, formerly of Arnold Arboretum shared this factoid.) Fall color has consistently been a bronze-red or red-purple, very nice with other woody plants that sport yellow, orange and bright red autumn tones. Our specimen was about 4’ tall at its center in 9 years before we had to remove it because it had outgrown it designated spot. It grew so densely that low-nesting birds have consistently enjoyed its cover and have successfully raised brood after brood through the years. Yes, we will find another spot or two or even three for Viburnum plicatum ‘Nanum’! We take care of the birds at Quackin’ Grass; in turn, the birds take care of the bugs.


4-5 ft


6-7 ft




5 to 7(8)
What is my hardiness zone?
Item Description Price  
VIBPLINAN Viburnum plicatum 'Nanum' (5 inch Square x 6 inch Tall - 2 quarts / 1.8927 liters) $30.00 Buy Now

Characteristics and Attributes for Viburnum plicatum 'Nanum'

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Spring

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer / Autumn

Autumn Interest

  • Autumn Leaf Color

Nature Attraction

  • Deer Resistant
  • Songbirds
  • Honey Bees & Native Bees


  • Full Sun
  • Mostly Sunny


  • Hedge
  • Border
  • Hedgerow
  • Foundation
  • Rock Garden
  • Wildlife Garden
  • Shrub Border

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Slow


  • Fertile


  • Garden Origin

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown

Genus Overview: Viburnum

Common Name: Viburnum

This genus is full of fantastic, multi-season garden worthy shrubs. Spring flowers, often large and showy, many with heady sweet fragrance are arranged in cymes. Flowers are followed with berries. If late season and autumn berries are desired then planting two of a species will ensure fruit set; for instance, Viburnum dilatatum 'Erie' and V. dilatatum 'Michael Dodge' will pollinate each other and produce fruit; V. nudum 'Winterthur' and V. nudum var. angustifolium will cross with each other. But V. nudum is very closely allied with V. cassinoides and all of these will cross pollinate and provide late season fruit. Another interesting example is V. lantana which crosses with V. burejaeticum and vice versa. Any V. plicatum selection such as 'Shasta' will pollinate with all other V. plicatum selections. But if you were to plant two 'Shasta' side by side with no other V. plicatum in near proximity then your effort will be fruitless. The berries are magnificent and so welcome in the late season garden. And they feed all manner of birds. Larger, denser shrubs provide cover and nesting opportunities. Nearly all Viburnum have terrific autumn foliage colors, too. Viburnums are members of Caprifoliaceae. All prefer part to full sun and fertile soils. All are cutting grown.