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This charming hybrid was raised by Messrs Burkwood and Skipwith in their nursery at Kingston-on-Thames in 1924. It was raised from V. utile pollinated by V. carlesii and has inherited the evergreen character of the seed parent. Its ovate, pointed leaves are 11⁄2 to 4 in. long, 3⁄4 to 13⁄4 in. wide, rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base, indistinctly toothed, dark, slightly burnished green above, thickly covered beneath with pale brown stellate down; leaf-stalks 1⁄4 in. or less long, covered (like the young shoots) with the same kind of down as the leaves. Flowers charmingly fragrant, produced in late April and May in rounded, five-rayed, terminal, well-filled clusters 21⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. across. Each flower is about 1⁄2 in. wide, the corolla having five spreading, rounded lobes, pinkish when quite young, afterwards pure white; anthers pale yellow.
This viburnum is very hardy, and with the beauty of its fragrant flowers, and its easy propagation from cuttings, it has become one of the most widely planted of viburnums, thriving even in a smoky environment. It grows to about 8 ft high and slightly more in width. It is not completely evergreen. Although the main flowering season is spring, some trusses may open in early winter if the weather is mild.
This hybrid is mainly represented in cultivation by the original clone ‘Burkwoodii’. Believed to be of the same parentage are ‘Chenaultii’, of more compact habit and more moderate growth, with slightly duller more persistent leaves; and ‘Park Farm’, which grows as tall as ‘Burkwoodii’, of which it is a sister-seedling, and differs in its slightly larger clusters of flowers pinker in the bud. Its older leaves colour in the autumn.