Viburnum setigerum (Tea Viburnum, Tea Honeysuckle) is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the Adoxaceae family. It is widely cultivated for its attractive flowers, fruits, and autumn foliage.
Appearance: Tea Viburnum is a medium-sized shrub that typically grows to a height of 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3 meters) with a similar spread. It has an upright, rounded form and arching branches. The shrub's stems are covered in dense, stiff hairs, which give it a rough texture.
Leaves: The leaves of Viburnum setigerum are opposite, simple, and ovate to elliptical in shape. They are about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) long and have a serrated margin. The leaves are dark green on the upper surface and paler underneath. In autumn, they often turn shades of reddish-purple, adding to the plant's ornamental value.
Flowers: Tea Viburnum produces clusters of small, white flowers in late spring or early summer. The flowers are typically tubular and have five petals. They are pleasantly fragrant and attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Fruits: Following the flowers, Viburnum setigerum develops abundant clusters of small, rounded berries. Initially, the fruits are green but turn shades of red as they mature. The berries are edible but are generally considered to be of low palatability for humans. However, they are attractive to birds, which consume them and aid in seed dispersal.
Growth and Adaptability: Tea Viburnum is a hardy shrub that is adaptable to a range of growing conditions. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It can tolerate a variety of soil types, including clay and alkaline soils. Once established, it is relatively drought-tolerant.
Overall, Viburnum setigerum is a visually appealing shrub with its attractive berries, autumn foliage, and thorny branches, making it a popular choice for gardeners and landscaping projects.