Viburnum lantana

  1. Wildlife
  2. Trees and shrubs
  3. Wayfaring-tree


The Wayfaring-tree is a small tree of woodland edge, hedgerows and grassland scrub, which is quite common on downland. The creamy flowers are out in May and June and are followed by red berries which 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 is recognisable by its broad, oval leaves with dense silky hairs underneath, its umbels (umbrella-like clusters) of creamy-white flowers, and its red and black berries in the autumn.

Where to find it

Widespread in south-east England, sometimes planted elsewhere. Occasionally found in the east of Northern Ireland.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Wayfaring-trees are an important food source for insects, such as hoverflies, looking for nectar, and birds, such as Blackbirds, looking for autumnal berries. Try planting native shrub species like Wayfaring-trees in your garden - these will grow to provide food and shelter for wildlife. To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Viburnum lantana
Trees and shrubs
Height: 4-5m
Conservation status