VIBURNUM, a large genus of shrubs, or small trees, of the honeysudde family, indige nous chiefly to the north temperate zone. Many species are cultivated for their orna mental flowers and fruits. The branches and leaves are usually opposite, the latter never being compound, but are diversely toothed and lobed, and generally assume brilliant hues in autumn. Vibumums are easily grown, but gen erally prefer a moist soil and sunny position, most of the American species living at the edges of open woodland. The most conspicuous of the genus both in flower and fruit are V. opulus, V. tomentorum and V. alnifolium. The two former are the source of the prden snowballs (q.v.). Among the American vibumums is the oval-leaved V. dentatum, or arrow-wood, so called because the Indians made arrow-shafts out of its soft, light wood, as well as from that of several other species, such as V. matte. V. lentago is the sweet vibumum, sheep-berry or nanny-berry, an arborescent shrub keeping its oval, bluish-black drupes over winter. These fruits have a thin pulp and are edible, and although somewhat insipid are said to be palat able after having been frozen. V. cassinoides is the early-flowering withe-rod, with gray ascending branches. Its leathery, rather dull green, ovate leaves are sometimes used for what is called Appalachian tea. One of the commonest nertheastern vibunnuns is. the maple-leaved, or dock-mackie (V. acerifohum), a pretty, spreading shrub growing ander trees, with creamy plate-like cymes of flowers, fruits changing from red to dark blue, three-lobed maple-lilce leaves, which are downy beneath and assume dark purple shades in the fall. The
thin bark of root and stem of the black haw (V. prunifolium) yields a diuretic and tonic drug. This shrub forms thickets with dense foliage, composed of finely serrulate, small, oval leaves, and bears numerous clusters of flowers, succeeded by blue-black and glaucous drupes.
The small ((wayfaring tree) of Europe (V. lantana) is often cultivated and has elliptic foliage and bright-blue fruits, darkening to black. They are sweetish, mealy and muci laginous, and. are said to have been used as a remedy for diarrhcea and catarrh, and also for an ink. An inferior birdlime is extracted from the roots, and the acrid inner bark was used as a vesicant The young shoots furnish stems for tobacco-pipes. The American wayfaring tree is the hobble-bush (V. alnitolium), with leaves that are nearly orbicular and turn to a deep wine-red in auttunn, and handsome flowers hav ing large, sterile ray-florets. It has long, flex uous, reddish branches, which are decumbent and are constantly tripping up pedestrians in the shady woods which it frequents. This fact explains the popular name. The American wayfaring tree is a companion of the white-rod except in its northerly quarters.