Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated March 2018.

Scientific name: Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides (L.) Torr. & A. Gray; old Viburnum cassinoides

Common name(s): withe-rod, witherod viburnum, wild raisin, northern wild raisin, possumhaw

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


Large, rounded shrub up to 30′ with young shoots covered with rust-colored scales with long buds adhering to stem.  Leaves opposite, dark green and shiny above, paler below with minute brown scales, oval, sometimes toothed and wider above the middle, thick, 2″-4″ long and come to an abrupt point. Leaves grow in pairs with upper leaves pointing upward.  Showy flat-topped, white flower stalks have minute brown dots, flowers with five parts and form at top of plant.  Fruit bluish black with white powder. Prefers wet habitats.

– two varieties in New England – var. cassinoides and var. nudum, which is known from CT and is of conservation concern

– may be confused with V. lentago; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage