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How do you tell a female Viburnum to a male viburnum


On plant Viburnum davidii



You can't because they don't exist - Viburnum davidii is self fertile.

21 Jul, 2010


V. davidii is what's known as "functionally dioecious" (dioecious plants have separate male and female individuals, V. davidii isn't truly dioecious, but from a gardeners point of view it behaves as though it is).... Hilliers says:

"Several plants should be planted together to effect cross-pollination. Some plants are dominantly male and others female, whilst others are possibly mules: it's all in the luck of the draw"

You can, however, buy V. davidii as previously identified (f) or (m) forms, with some nurseries propagating clones that are known to be male or female.

21 Jul, 2010


Interesting - my RHS book makes no reference to that at all, nor does the other encyclopaedia I have. I have V. davidii in 3 different gardens, all produce berries, so maybe I was just lucky then.

21 Jul, 2010


I think it might be the case that the species is so widely planted and grown that neighbouring plants often pollinate one another, even if you only have one in a garden....

Of course that doesn't actually answer Julie's question of how do you tell the difference between a male and a female!.... I don't believe you can until the plant either:

1) sets fruit = (f)
2) fails to set fruit, even when grown in the presence of other individuals = (m)

21 Jul, 2010


i agree with bamboo, i only have 1 davidii in my garden but produces berries on its own.

21 Jul, 2010


Hi Steve,

I don't grow V. davidii myself, so can't comment from personal experience, but if you do a Google search for: Viburnum davidii male female ....there are many thousands of nursery and other sites all saying that different clones/sexes are needed to set fruit....if you do a search for: Viburnum davidii self fertile you find nothing (well, aside from this forum thread!)

Yours and Bamboos experience seems to be contrary to this though....

there's an article by someone attempting to answer this very question (as well as on how to identify male and female plants) at:

22 Jul, 2010


BBC website says "male and female forms can be bought separately" and also you need both to ensure berrying. I don't know what universe they're living in, but in all my 35 years of gardening and buying plants for clients' gardens, I have never yet seen V. davidii labelled as male or female, and that's when I've found it at all, it often not being offered for sale anyway. Annoying that, because holly has different cultivar names so you can tell whether you've got a female or a male, why don't they do that for this shrub?

22 Jul, 2010


There are a few named clones of specified sex - 'Femina' being one for instance...the RHS Plantfinder currently has 40 suppliers of V. davidii (unsexed) along with 16 suppliers for a female clone and 13 for a male clone:

I would guess that these male & female varieties must be vegetatively propagated from an original sex-identified pair of plants (i.e. one male and one female) so, you're right, it would make sense for someone to give each a cultivar name!

22 Jul, 2010

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