Description from Flora of China
Viburnum adenophorum W. W. Smith; V. betulifolium var. flocculosum (Rehder) P. S. Hsu; V. dasyanthum Rehder; V. flavescens W. W. Smith; V. formosanum (Hance) Hayata f. morrisonense (Hayata) Nakai; V. formosanum var. taihasense (Hayata) Nakai ["taishanense"]; V. hupehense Rehder; V. hupehense subsp. septentrionale P. S. Hsu; V. lobophyllum Graebner; V. lobophyllum var. flocculosum Rehder; V. lobophyllum var. silvestrii Pampanini; V. luzonicum Rolfe var. morrisonense (Hayata) S. S. Ying; V. morrisonense Hayata; V. ovatifolium Rehder; V. taihasense Hayata; V. willeanum Graebner; V. wilsonii Rehder; V. wilsonii var. adenophorum (W. W. Smith) Handel-Mazzetti.
Shrubs or small trees, deciduous, to 5(-7) m tall. Bark light brown. Branchlets of current year purple-brownish, glabrous or yellow-brownish stellate-pubescent; branchlets of previous year purple-brown or black-brown, terete, glabrous, with dispersed, small, rounded lenticels. Winter buds ovoid-oblong, with 2 pairs of separate scales; scales ± hairy outside. Leaves always opposite, not clustered at apices of branchlets; stipules 2, persistent, subulate, small; petiole green, slender, 1-2(-3.5) cm, sparsely long hairy or glabrous; leaf blade green when young, broadly ovate to rhombic-ovate or broadly obovate, rarely elliptic-oblong, 3.5-8.5(-12) × 3-5.5(-9) cm, thickly papery or slightly leathery, abaxially pubescent on midvein and lateral veins and stellate-pubescent in vein axils, or stellate-pubescent throughout, with or without glandular dots, adaxially glabrous or pubescent on midvein, midvein raised abaxially, lateral veins (4 or)5 or 6(or 7)-jugate, pinnate, straight or slightly arched, branched, ending in teeth, conspicuously raised abaxially, impressed adaxially, veinlets transverse, slightly raised abaxially, impressed adaxially, not lobed, base broadly cuneate to rounded, rarely truncate, with 0-3 circular glands on both sides of midvein near base, margin crenate above 1/3-1/2 from base, apex abruptly and shortly acuminate to acuminate. Flowers appearing after leaves; inflorescence a compound umbel-like cyme, terminal or at apices of lateral short branchlets with 1 pair of leaves, 5-12 cm in diam.; rays whorled; first node of inflorescence usually with 7 rays, dense, usually densely or sparsely yellow-brown stellate-pubescent, without large sterile radiant flowers; peduncles usually less than 1 cm; bracts and bracteoles deciduous, leaflike, green, lanceolate, sparsely hairy. Flowers on rays from 3rd to 5th orders, not fragrant, shortly pedicellate or sessile. Calyx green; tube tubular-obconical, ca. 1.5 mm, with yellow-brown glandular dots and sparsely or densely stellate-pubescent; lobes broadly ovate-triangular, ca. 1.5 mm, ciliate, apex obtuse. Corolla white, rotate, ca. 4 mm in diam., glabrous or stellate-pubescent; tube 1-2 mm; lobes spreading, orbicular-ovate, exceeding tube, apex rounded, margin entire. Stamens usually exceeding corolla, inserted at base of corolla; filaments 4-5 mm; anthers yellow-whitish, broadly elliptic, ca. 1 mm. Styles exceeding calyx lobes; stigmas capitate. Fruit maturing red, subglobose, ca. 6 mm, base rounded, apex rounded, glabrous; pyrenes compressed, ovoid, 3.5-5 × 3-4 mm, with 2 deep dorsal grooves, and 1-3 ventral grooves, apex acute. Fl. Jun-Jul, fr. Sep-Oct. 2n = 18*, 20*, 22*.
This is a most polymorphic species, perhaps including many geographic races. There exists a very complicated variation pattern among the different geographic races in the absence or presence and density of the pubescence on the winter bud, calyx tube, and corolla, and in the size of the corolla and fruit, in the texture and shape of the leaf, in the presence or absence of pubescence on the adaxial leaf surface, and in the presence or absence of glandular dots and of stellate pubescence on the abaxial leaf surface. Thus, it is very difficult to identify the different geographic races. These features may be used to recognize Viburnum hupehense, V. lobophyllum, or V. wilsonii among others.
Viburnum betulifolium f. aurantiacum Rehder (J. Arnold Arbor. 9: 116. 1928) is a yellow/orange-fruited variant described from Chinese material.
● Forests, scrub; 1300-3500 m. Anhui, Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, W Henan, W Hubei, S Ningxia, S Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, SE Xizang, Yunnan, NW Zhejiang.