Viburnum setigerum
Common Name: tea viburnum 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Adoxaceae
Native Range: Central and western China
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Butterflies
Fruit: Showy


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist loams, but tolerates a wide range of soils including slightly boggy ones. Prune lightly, only if needed, in fall. Pruning after flowering may be done but will eliminate some of the late summer fruit display. For best cross-pollination and subsequent fruit display, plant shrubs in groups rather than as single specimens.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Viburnum setigerum, commonly called tea viburnum, is noted for producing perhaps the best fall fruit display of the any of the viburnums. It is a rounded, multi-stemmed, upright-spreading, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 8-12’ tall and 5-8’ wide. Mature shrubs tend to lack foliage at the base. Small white flowers arranged in flat-topped clusters (cymes to 2” wide) bloom in April-May. Flowers are not particularly showy. Flowers are followed by clusters of ovoid bright red berries in fall. Berry production is often so abundant as to cause the stems to arch downward from the weight. Pointed, ovate-lanceolate to ovate-oblong, slightly toothed, blue-green leaves (3-5” long). Foliage turns purplish in fall.

Genus name comes from the Latin name of a species plant.

Specific epithet means bearing bristles for the small bristles at the ends of the leaf veins.

Leaves were once used to make tea, hence the common name.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Specimen, groups or mass plantings. Shrub borders, informal hedges, screens or roadside plantings. Good selection for low spots and peripheries of water gardens, streams or ponds.