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Spice Girl Viburnum Is a Highly Fragrant Shrub

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Virtues: Spice Girl Koreanspice viburnum blooms in the early spring, with pretty, rounded flower heads that emit a lovely and strong spicy-sweet fragrance. This deciduous shrub brings another round of interest in the fall, when its leaves turn gorgeous shades of red and purple. This easy, vigorous, large grower can stand alone or grow with companions as a hedge. Just be sure to site it where you'll enjoy its spring scent.


Common name: Spice Girl Koreanspice viburnum

Botanical name: Viburnum carlesii Spice Girl ('Spiro')

Exposure: Full to part sun

Flowers: Round flower heads start out as clusters of bright pink buds in early spring. These open to star-shape pink flowers that fade to white over time. The flowers are strongly fragrant, with a gorgeous sweet scent.

Foliage: The rounded deciduous leaves are a medium matte green from spring through summer. They turn red and purple in the fall.


Habit: Spice Girl viburnum is a deciduous shrub that grows 6 to 7 feet tall and wide. 

Origin: The species Viburnum carlesii is native to Korea and Japan. Spice Girl ('Spiro') is an introduction from Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs.

How to grow it: Plant Spice Girl Koreanspice viburnum in full or part sun and average soil with good drainage. Provide water in times of drought. If pruning is necessary, do so immediately after it flowers. Spice Girl is a female cultivar that will produce berries but only if it is paired with a male V. carlesii cultivar in the vicinity, such as Spice Baby. USDA Zones 4–9.

If you're trying to add more fragrant plants to your garden, check out Ken Druse's book The Scentual Garden.

Image credit: Courtesy of Proven Winners