Viburnum x bodnantense “Dawn” is an upright, somewhat untidy deciduous shrub with oval leaves. For the longest time clusters of deep pink buds on the bare stems open to reveal delicate, very fragrant flowers. Common name is Bodnant Viburnum.
It is characterised by its numerous and densely packed 7.5cm (3in) clusters of rose, pink or blush white blooms, appearing in winter and very sweetly scented. In cold gardens bushes flower from January to March, but in mild winters they bloom from October to March with a short break. This is the period which which these plants shine, during the summer they are background fillers for the most part. These are easy plants to grow requiring moist well drained soil. The best blooming is produced in dappled to full sun.
“Dawn” is the form usually grown, a large shrub which eventually needs thinning, but harder pruning will keep it compact. Leaves grow oppositely on the stem and are a oval in shape with a serrated apex. Has a decent red fall color. The flowers are pink clusters that smell heavenly! This plant is usually grown for it’s fragrant flowers and not too many other reasons.
Cultivation requirements: Prefers filtered shade, but can tolerate anything between full sun to partial shade. Also prefers well drained soils with a moderate amount of nutrients. This shrub tends to get leggy with time. You can prevent this pinching new growth back to its nodes a few times a year. Or, if you see its gotten too leggy when you weren’t paying attention, cut it back severely after it flowers.
Viburnum x bodnantense is generally a vase shaped shrub, narrow at the bottom and opening up. If you plant them roughly 3 feet apart, you create a reasonably full green hedge in the summer and a beautiful blossom filled twig hedge in the late winter and early spring. Consider putting the hedge in front of something evergreen so that the white and pink flowers have added sparkle.
Exposure: full sun, partial shade
Soil type: moist, well-drained/light
Time to take cuttings: June to August
Flowering period: October to March