20th Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists & The Horticultural Society of New York

Tea Viburnum

Viburnum setigerum

I am intrigued by the diversity of cultivated plants originally from Asia which are closely related to our native species. I have been working on a series of copper etchings of Asian trees and shrubs - several subjects are species that I have grown in my garden; others are ones I have observed at NYBG and Arnold Arboretum. Viburnums have always been appealing for both the spring flowers and the autumn fruits and I am familiar with many native and cultivated species. Always on the lookout for new subjects, I was immediately struck by the brilliant color of the autumn fruits of Viburnum setigerum ‘Aurantiacum’ when I found it growing at NYBG. Anne Raver described the leaves as ‘hanging like skirts from delicate flat clusters of flowers’ and likewise the foliage elegantly shows off the nodding fruits. I learned plant collector E. H. Wilson, who collected seed from China 1901, had introduced the species to Arnold Arboretum. It is known as Tea viburnum because monks used the leaves to make a sweet tea with medicinal properties.


I obtained clippings to design my composition, created to fit on an 8 x 8” piece of copper. I worked on the copper etching in several stages to get the amount of detail I desired, and then printed it in green ink. I find green ink to be appealing for certain prints but it is much more difficult to achieve the desired plate tone so I am very selective about which plates I print with green ink. The Tea viburnum was an obvious choice, especially when I decided to hand color the fruits with watercolor. The edition is limited to 20 prints and each varies slightly in plate tone and fruit color, reflecting the variation found in nature.
Read more about this artist’s work: 16th Annual International
  • © 2016 Bobbi Angell
    Viburnum setigerum
    Viburnum setigerum
    Copper etching with watercolor on paper
    8" x 8"