Norhern Arrowwood

Common Names: Smooth Arrowwood
Genus: Viburnum
Species: recognitum
Parts Used: leaves and berries

These plants have dark green, oval deciduous leaves which grow opposite each other on the stem. The tips of the leaves are pointed and the bottoms are rounded or heartshaped. The leaves are about 4 inches long and 3 inches across. Northern Arrowwood is different from other viburnums because its leaves have big spiky edges, but its surface is smooth.

It has small white to pink flowers in flat-topped clusters about 4 inches across. The plant blooms from May to June. The leaves and flowers grow on the top of long shoots.

The fruits of the arrowwood are fleshy and blue-black in color about 1/2 inch across. They are a favorite food of Ruffed Grouse and chipmunks. Deer love to eat the leaves and stems. The shoots were once used by Native Americans for arrow shafts.

The bark of Northern Arrowwood is grey and smooth. This shrub can sometimes grow to fifteen feet in height.

The Northern Arrowwood is usually found in the decidouos biome. It grows from New Brunswick and southern Ontario, to south-east New York, northern Ohio and Michigan. It prefers wetland areas along rivers, streams and lakes.

by Robin B.  2000.


Petrides, George A. (1972). A Field Guide to Wild Flowers. Boston, MA, Houghton Mifflin Company.

"Midwestern Wetland Flora",

Photo credit: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center,