Tea Viburnum

Viburnum setigerum

Family: Adoxaceae (a-dox-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Viburnum (vy-BUR-num) (Info)
Species: setigerum (set-EE-ger-um) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clermont, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Newton Highlands, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Pequannock, New Jersey

West Babylon, New York

Raleigh, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 15, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is arguably the best viburnum for its September display of scarlet fruit, which often holds well into winter, if the birds hold off. (V. dilatatum may run a close second.) It's often heavy enough to weigh the ends of the branches to the ground. The spring flowering display is mediocre, and lasts 7-10 days.

I REALLY like this plant, but it isn't for everyone. It's not a plant for those who want to shear all their shrubs into a ball. Its natural habit is gracefully vase-shaped, and often fairly open. Mature plants generally lack foliage near the base. (I wanted to avoid the disparaging word 'leggy', but that's what those who want dense, shearable shrubs would call it.) You can minimize the effect by planting other, shorter plants close to the base, or mixing it with othe... read more


On Jun 20, 2012, smallville from Newton Highlands, MA wrote:

I bought this plant from Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, Massachusetts about fifteen years ago and planted it a few yards from a path leading to my front door. It has been a multi-seasonal success, beloved of winter robins. It is shaded by a nearby maple street tree, although it is on the southwest side of the house. Also, it is planted on a slope which gets the runoff of the roof. I seem to have blundered into just the right situation for it, and even though there is no obvious pollinator nearby (some have recommended planting two of them), this one does just fine at producing its red berries. It may be closely enough related to another viburnum in the yard (a highbush cranberry) to get the benefit of its pollen.

I read that it was called monk's tea, because Chinese monks br... read more


On Nov 3, 2006, Decumbent from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is an open, informal shrub that produces an enormously showy berry display in the fall, even in deep shade.


On Jan 28, 2002, Copperbaron from Vicksburg, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

The tea viburnum is a medium size, multistemmed, deciduous shrub with slightly drooping branches that reaches a height of 8'-12' with a spread of 5'-8', whose leaves were once used for making tea. Flat topped clusters of showy white flowers 1"-2" in diameter cover the plant in late May. The fruit mature to a reddish-orange to orange color in profusion in late October making this the showiest of the fruiting viburnum. Fall color is an unreliable red.

The tea viburnum prefers well drained, mildly acidic soil in full sun to partial shade and flowers on new wood. It is useful in the shrub border, as a screen, in mass plantings, and is valuable for its flowers and fruit.