Wayfaring-tree

©Philip Precey

Wayfaring-tree

Scientific name: Viburnum lantana
The wayfaring-tree is a small tree of hedgerows, woods, scrub and downland. It displays creamy-white flowers in spring and red berries in autumn, which ripen to black and are very poisonous.

Species information

Statistics

Height: 4-5m

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

The wayfaring-tree is a small tree of woodland edges, hedgerows, scrub and downland. The creamy flowers are out in May and June, and are followed by red berries that eventually ripen to black (although both colours can be seen on the tree). These berries are particularly attractive to birds and small mammals, which help to disperse the seeds.

How to identify

The Wayfaring-tree has broad, oval leaves with dense silky hairs underneath. It displays umbels (umbrella-like clusters) of creamy-white flowers in spring, and both red and black berries in autumn.

Distribution

Mainly found in South East England.

Did you know?

The berries of wayfaring-trees are poisonous to humans and cause vomiting if eaten, but the creamy-white flowers have a lovely lily fragrance.