This deciduous large shrub or small tree native to eastern North America where it may be found on forest edges and along roadsides. It has erect to arching branches and attractive foliage and flowers. The simple leaves are two to five inches long, oval, and abruptly pointed at the tip. They are light green when they emerge, turn dark gkossy green as they mature, and may show purple-red color in the fall. Small creamy white flowers appear in late spring in flat clusters three to four and a half inches across. Clusters of drooping green berries half inch in size follow and turn yellow, pink, and finally, blue-black, persisting into winter. Nannyberry is a host plant for butterfly and moth larvae and provides food for wildlife such as songbirds, gamebirds, squierrls and chipmunks. It is an adaptable plant, can be easily transplanted, and is suitable for difficult sites as well as garden borders and hedges. It suckers readily and is especially good for naturalizing. The common name, nannyberry, comes from the belief that nannygoats feed on the plant but billygoats do not.
Type: Deciduous large shrub or small tree
Outstanding Features: Foliage, flowers
Form: Irregular to rounded with branch tips arching
Growth Rate: Moderate
Bloom: Cymes of creamy-white flowers 3-4 1/2″ across in late spring
Size: 12-25′ H x 6-12′ W
Light: Full sun; tolerates part shade
Soil: Average, dry to moist, well-drained; drought tolerant
Care: Reduce suckering to restrict spread; prune immediately after flowering as flower buds form in summer for next years flowers.
Hardiness: Zones 2-8
Pests and Diseases: None of significance but powdery mildew can be a problem in too much shade; susceptible to mealy bug and leaf spot
Propagation: Seed (germination may take over 18 months), suckering.