Plant of the Week: Viburnum cylindricum

This big handsome shrub is about to display its flat cymes of dull white flowers, exuding a faint sweetish smell. Clearly it is not for these that we in limy places grow this plant: it is rather for its evergreen stateliness and its fine big waxy leaves, better than those of the rhododendrons which will not grow on our soil. So waxy are they that we can write the name of our beloved on them with a sharp stick, and it will remain.

In time it accumulates several smooth grey trunks, and the sight of one covered with frost in winter is more beautiful than the sight of one flowering now. Well worth the considerable space it requires.