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A quite common hedgerow shrub mainly on calcareous soils.


Wayfaring-tree: faring well along the way

Post date: Wednesday, 22 October, 2014 - 00:00

This dense cluster of red berries, the fruit of the Wayfaring-tree (Viburnum lantana), started out green, turned to this lovely red and will end up black! Whilst very attractive and potentially tempting to pick they have unpleasant effects on the human digestive system causing vomiting and diarrhoea and so they are best left to the birds who can eat them with no ill effects at all. Each berry has a single seed and depends on birds, especially members of the thrush family, to disperse it.

The Wayfaring-tree is quite common, especially on chalk, here in the south eastern lowlands of England and is often seen in Dorset, right on the western edge of its range. It can be found frequently in hedgerows from where its common name derives; faring well along the way. Despite being quite common I suspect they go somewhat unnoticed with a tendency for people to think they are some other berry bearing shrub. We all have heard of hawthorn and blackthorn but Wayfaring-tree?


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Wayfaring-tree
Scientific Name Viburnum lantana
Family Honeysuckle family - Caprifoliaceae
Status Common
Interest Level
Species Family Hedgerow Shrubs
Flower Colour Group White
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
Preferred Environment
Look for Hedgerow shrub with discs of white flowers
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

This species is often found in these habitats:

Habitat(s) Relationship
SH: Hedgerow Scrub Associated