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A deciduous shrub of bushy habit, 6 to 12 ft high; young shoots glabrous and bright green at first, soon turning grey; older bark peeling. Leaves broadly ovate to roundish, 2 to 5 in. long, 13⁄4 to 33⁄4 in. wide, mostly heart-shaped at the base, slender-pointed, coarsely triangular toothed, the teeth twenty to thirty on each side, upper surface dark green and glabrous, paler and more or less downy beneath; stalk 1⁄2 to almost 2 in. long. Flowers white, all perfect, 1⁄4 in. across, produced in long-stalked cymes 2 to 4 in. wide. Fruits scarcely 1⁄2 in. long, oval, much compressed, blue-black.
Native of eastern-central North America, rare in gardens (the plant once grown as V. molle was a form of the V. dentatum complex). V. molle is very distinct from other American viburnums with blue-black fruits in the combination of the loose peeling bark of the older branches, the long-stalked leaves, and the presence of a pair of glandular-downy stipules on the petiole.
V. villosum Raf., not Swartz
V. affine var. hypomalacum Blake