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Viburnum Leaf Beetle
Guide to identifying viburnums

Express key


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Viburnum leaf
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Guide to identifying Viburnums

  • Common names

  • Is it a viburnum?

  • Which viburnum?

  • Express key

  • ID tutorial

    Guide to viburnums by David Swaciak.

    Leaf drawings by
    Marcia Eames-Sheavly.

    Logo images by Paul Weston & Craig Cramer

  • This Express Key will lead you through the same identification process on a single page that you can follow page-by-page from the Guide to Identifying Viburnums page. While this page is more streamlined and might be a little bit faster for experienced users, it doesn't have pictures to help you along the way. (You can click on links in this key and go to the detailed pages that do have pictures.)

    If you want a hard copy to take to the field with you, download the printer-friendly .pdf version.

    • I know the common name of my viburnum.
      I want to know the scientific name.
      Go to Common Names.

    • I'm not sure if my plant is a viburnum.
      Go to Is it a viburnum?

    • I know my plant is a viburnum.
      I want to figure out what species it is.
      Go to Which viburnum is it?
    Is it a viburnum?

    1A1. If the plant is a vine (low and trailing along the ground), you do not have a viburnum.
    1A2. If the plant is a shrub (has many stems) or small tree, about 3 to 12 feet tall, go to 2A. View detail page

    2A1. If the leaves alternate on the twig, you do not have a viburnum.
    2A2. If the leaves are opposite each other on the twig, go to 3A.  View detail page

    3A1. If the leaf is compound (three or more leaflets), it is not a viburnum.
    3A2. If the leaf is simple (one main part), go to 4.
    View detail page

    4A1 . If the leaf is lobed (divided into three or more segments, resembling a maple leaf), go to 5A.
    4A2. If the leaf is not lobed (not divided into segments) go to 5B. 
    View detail page

    5A1. If the petioles (leaf stems) are without stipules (fang-like appendages at the base) it is not a viburnum. 
    5A2. If the petiole has stipules, you have a viburnum. Go to Which viburnum is it?    View detail page

    5B1. If the twigs have corky ridges you do not have a viburnum.
    5B2. If the twigs do not have corky ridges go to 6A. View detail page

    Make a long tapered cut in the twig.
    6A1. If the inside of the stem is hollow or chambered, you do not have a viburnum.
    6A2. If the inside of the stem is solid go to 7A.
    View detail page

    Look at the twig between the petioles (leaf stems) - best seen on newest growth.
    7A1. If the base of the petioles are not connected by a line, you do not have a viburnum.
    7A2. If the base of the petioles are connected by a line, go to 8A.
    View detail page

    Look for last years fruit or dried flower/seed heads.
    8A1. If the fruiting structure is a dry flower or capsule, you do not have a viburnum.
    8A2. If the fruiting structure is a red, blue or black berry (some yellow), go to 9A.
    View detail page

    9A1. If the leaf margin is entire (smooth) and the under side is glabrous (smooth) you do not have a viburnum.
    9A2. If the leaf margin has teeth or if the margin is entire and the underside is pubescent (velvety tufts under magnification), go to Which viburnum is it? View detail page

    Which viburnum is it?

    1A1. If your leaf is lobed (divided into segments) go to 2A.
    1A2. If your leaf is orbicular (rounded) or ovate to broad ovate (like an egg or fat egg shape), go to 2B.
    1A3
    . If your leaf is elliptic (football) or oblong-ovate (long and narrow shaped), go to 2C. View detail page

     

    2A1. If the underside of the leaf has black dots (under magnification), go to Viburnum acerifolium.
    2A2
    . If there are glands (bumps) on the petiole (leaf stalk) and pubescence (under magnification) along the veins on the underside of the leaf, go to Viburnum opulus.
    2A3. If there are glands on the petiole and the veins on the underside of the leaf are without hairs go to Viburnum sargentii. View detail page

     

    2B1. If the teeth on the leaf margin are closely spaced, 10 or more teeth within the width of a dime, go to 3A.
    2B2. If the teeth on the leaf margin are widely spaced, 9 or less teeth within the width of a dime, go to 3B.
    2B3. If the leaf margin has obscure, indistinct or no teeth, go to 3C. View detail page

       

    3A1. If your leaf has dense pubescence (velvety tufts under magnification) on the underside of the leaf, go to Viburnum lantanoides.
    3A2. If your leaf does not have dense pubescence on the underside, go to 4A. View detail page

         

    4A1. If the petiole (leaf stem) has wavy margins, go to Viburnum lentago.
    4A2. If the petiole is without wavy margins, go to Viburnum prunifolium.  View detail page

       

    3B1. If your leaf has pubescence (velvety tufts under magnification) on the underside of the leaf, go to 4B.
    3B2. If your leaf does not have pubescence on the underside, go to 4C. View detail page

         

    4B1 If the length of the petiole (leaf stem) is less than the width of a dime, go to 5A.
    4B2. If the length of the petiole is greater than the width of a dime, go to 5B. View detail page

     

    5A1. If the leaf veins extend beyond the margin, go to Viburnum carlesii (also Viburnum x carlcephalum).
    5A2. If the leaf veins do not extend beyond the margin, go to Viburnum macrocephalum.
    View detail page

    5B1. If your leaf has less than 9 secondary leaf veins on one side of the midrib (main central vein), go to Viburnum lantana.
    5B2. If your leaf has 9 or more secondary leaf veins on one side of the midrib, go to Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum.
    View detail page

         

    4C1. If the twigs are glabrous (smooth), go to 5C.
    4C2. If the twigs are pubescent (hairy under magnification), go to 5D.
    View detail page

           

    5C1. If your leaf has brown dots (under magnification) on the underside especially along the veins and the teeth are rounded, go to Viburnum cassinoides.
    5C2. If your leaf does not have brown dots on the underside, go to  Viburnum dentatum
    5C3. If your leaf has brown dots on the underside and teeth are pointed, go to Viburnum wrightii View detail page

         

     

     

    5D1. If your leaf does not have 2-4 circular glands at the base of the underside, go to  Viburnum dentatum
    5D2. If your leaf has 2-4 circular glands at the base of the underside, go to Viburnum dilatatum.
    View detail page

       

    3C1. If your leaf is orbicular (more rounded), go to Viburnum carlesii.
    3C2. If your leaf has few if any teeth, go to Viburnum x burkwoodii.
    3C3. If the leaf is ovate (egg shape), go to Viburnum x carlcephalum. View detail page

     

    2C1. If the teeth are closely spaced, 10 teeth or more within the width of a dime, go to 3D.
    2C2. If the leaf teeth are widely spaced, 9 teeth or less within the width of a dime, go to 3E.
    2C3. If the leaf margin has obscure, indistinct or no teeth go to 3F. View detail page

       

    3D1. If the petiole (leaf stem) has wavy margins, go to Viburnum lentago.
    3D2. If the petiole is without wavy margins, go to Viburnum prunifolium. View detail page

       

    3E1. If the underside of the leaf is pubescent (velvety tufts under magnification), go to 4D.
    3E2. If the underside of the leaf is not pubescent, go to 4E. View detail page

         

    4D1. If your leaf has 9 or more secondary leaf veins on one side of the midrib (main central vein), go to Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum.
    4D2. If your leaf has are fewer than 9 secondary leaf veins on one side of the midrib, go to 5E.
    View detail page

         

     

    5E1. If the petiole (leaf stem) is longer than the width of a dime, go to Viburnum lantana.
    5E2. If the petiole is shorter than the width of a dime and the teeth are distinct, go to Viburnum macrocephalum (also Viburnum x carlcephalum)
    5E3. If the petiole is shorter than the width of a dime and the teeth are small or irregular go to Viburnum x juddii.
    View detail page

         

    4E1. If the leaf has brown dots on the underside (under magnification), go to 5F.
    4E2
    . If the does not have brown dots on the underside go to 5G
    View detail page

         

     

    5F1. If the leaf has brown dots on the underside (under magnification), mostly along the veins, go to Viburnum cassinoides.
    5F2. If the leaf leaf smells like burnt rubber when crushed, go to Viburnum sieboldii. View detail page

    5G1. If your leaf has 2-4 circular glands at the base of the underside, go to Viburnum dilatatum.
    5G2. If the leaf base is cuneate (long taper), go to Viburnum farreri.
    5G3. If the leaf base is rounded, go to Viburnum setigerum.
    5G4. If the leaf leaf smells like burnt rubber when crushed, go to Viburnum sieboldii.
    View detail page

       

    3F1. If the leaf is less than 3 long go to 4F.
    3F2. If the leaf is greater than 3 long go to 4G. View detail page

         

    4F1. If the twig is glabrous (smooth under magnification), go to Viburnum cassinoides
    4F2. If the top of leaf is glabrous (smooth - see leaf surface tutorial), go to Viburnum utile.
    4F3. If there are sparse teeth along the margin and the twig is pubescent go to Viburnum x burkwoodii. View detail page

         

    4G1. If the leaf has brown dots on the underside (under magnification), go to Viburnum cassinoides.
    4G2.
    If the leaves are deeply wrinkled, go to Viburnum rhytidophyllum
    4G3. If the leaves are leaf less wrinkled go to Viburnum x rhytidophylloides. View detail page


    Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.

    Project coordinator: Lori Brewer, ljb7@cornell.edu
    Website design: Craig Cramer cdc25@cornell.edu

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