Description from Flora of China
Viburnum macrocephalum var. sterile Dippel.
Shrubs, deciduous or semievergreen, to 4 m tall. Bark gray-brownish or gray-whitish. Branchlets of current year densely gray-whitish or yellow-whitish stellate-pubescent, glabrescent; branchlets of previous year gray-brownish or gray-whitish, terete, glabrous, with dispersed, small, rounded lenticels. Winter buds naked, densely gray-whitish or yellow-whitish stellate-pubescent. Leaves always opposite, not clustered at apices of branchlets; stipules absent; petiole green, robust, 1-1.5 cm, gray-whitish or yellow-whitish stellate-pubescent; leaf blade greenish white when young, ovate to elliptic or ovate-elliptic, 5-11 × 2-5 cm, papery, abaxially stellate-pubescent, adaxially densely stellate-pubescent at first, later only so on midvein, midvein raised abaxially, lateral veins 5- or 6-jugate, pinnate, arched, branched, anastomosing near margin, raised abaxially, slightly impressed adaxially, veinlets transverse, slightly raised or inconspicuous abaxially, inconspicuous adaxially, not lobed, base rounded or sometimes slightly cordate, without glands, margin denticulate, apex obtuse or slightly acute. Flowers appearing after leaves; inflorescence a compound umbel-like cyme, terminal, 8-15 cm in diam.; rays whorled; first node of inflorescence with 5 rays, dense, gray-whitish or yellow-whitish stellate-pubescent, totally composed of large sterile flowers, or of fertile flowers yet with 8-18 large sterile radiant flowers; peduncle 1-2 cm; bracts caducous, leaflike, green, linear-lanceolate, stellate-pubescent; bracteoles linear. Flowers on rays of 3rd order, not fragrant, sessile or shortly pedicellate. Sterile flowers: calyx like fertile flowers; corolla white, rotate, 1.5-4 cm in diam., glabrous; lobes orbicular-obovate, apex rounded; stamens and pistils not developed. Fertile flowers: calyx greenish; tube tubular, ca. 2.5 mm, glabrous; lobes oblong, small, ca. 2 mm, nearly as long as calyx tube, glabrous, apex obtuse; corolla white, rotate, 10-12 mm in diam., glabrous; tube ca. 1 mm; lobes spreading, orbicular-obovate, ca. 2 mm, longer than tube, apex rounded, margin entire; stamens slightly taller than corolla lobes, inserted near base of corolla tube; filaments ca. 3 mm; anthers yellow, subglobose, small; styles slightly exceeding or subequaling calyx lobes; stigmas capitate. Fruit initially turning red, maturing black, elliptic, ca. 12 mm, base rounded, apex rounded, glabrous; pyrenes compressed, oblong, 10-12 × 6-8 mm, with 2 shallow dorsal grooves and 3 shallow ventral grooves, apex rounded. Fl. Apr-May, fl. Sep-Oct. 2n = 18*.
Two forms may be recognized as follows. The typical form (f. macrocephalum) has its inflorescence totally composed of large sterile flowers (without anthers) and is known from cultivation only, while f. keteleeri (Carrière) Rehder (Bibl. Cult. Trees, 603. 1949; Viburnum keteleeri Carrière, Rev. Hort. 1863: 269. 1863; V. arborescens Hemsley; V. macrocephalum var. keteleeri (Carrière) G. Nicholson; V. macrocephalum var. indutum Handel-Mazzetti) is the wild-related taxa and has its inflorescence with 8-18 large sterile radiant flowers (without anthers) only at margin and fertile flowers (with stamens) at center. Also commonly cultivated, the latter also occurs in forests, thickets on mountain slopes, at 400-1000 m, in W Anhui, W Hubei, Hunan, S Jiangsu, NW Jiangxi, and Zhejiang.
● Forests, thickets on mountain slopes; 400-1000 m. W Anhui, Henan, W Hubei, Hunan, S Jiangsu, NW Jiangxi, S Shandong, Zhejiang; also commonly cultivated.