One of the most ornamental shrub groups for non-tropical regions, viburnums (Viburnum spp.) are renowned for their plant forms, foliage beauty and colors, dainty flowers and small, colorful fruits. Gardening enthusiasts will tell you what they know of this plant group, and peruse any garden literature and chances are you'll find an article, chapter or book about a species of viburnum. Botanical gardens are known to grow many species of viburnums that are well-suited for cultivation in their respective region. Visit them and see the viburnum plants in person.
Talk to family members, neighbors and friends who enjoy gardening. Ask them about viburnums, finding out their interests and experiences with this group of plants. Inquire if they know of other people, books or places to see or learn about other viburnum types.
Purchase a reference book that covers species of viburnum, especially those that have good full-color photography. World-renowned American plantsman Michael Dirr published "Viburnums: Flowering Shrubs for Every Season" in 2007, and it is a great foundation book for a collection.
Go to a plant nursery and ask questions about viburnum species that grow in your area or are for sale. Look at the plants and read plant labels. Familiarize yourself with the basic features of viburnums, from bark color, leaf shape and other ornamental features like flowers and fruits, which usually are colorful and attract songbirds.
Visit botanical gardens and view their living collections of viburnums. Botanical gardens are not the only sites, but also look for university campuses, zoos, arboretums and nature preserves, as they often have formal or naturalized plantings that include viburnum. Inquire if these institutions offer any pamphlets or lectures on viburnums.