Great Shrubs with Fruits for Winter Interest for Mid-Atlantic Gardens
Regional Gardening, Best Shrubs, Mid-Atlantic Gardening
Plant one of these shrubs or small trees and enjoy a spectacular display from late summer through winter. They all possess brightly colored fruits and are an excellent way to brighten the drab winter garden, turning sorry spots into beautiful focal points. Like precious jewels, their nutritious berries sparkle in the winter landscape and will lure hungry birds and squirrels. They also are fun to pick for indoor arrangements or Christmas decor.
Perfect for Mid-Atlantic gardens, most of these attractive shrubs or trees have been awarded prestigious awards.
Great Shrubs with Fruits for Winter Interest for Mid-Atlantic Gardens
Noted for its attractive glossy red berries and excellent red fall foliage color, Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima' (Red Chokeberry) is a deciduous shrub adding multi-season beauty to the garden. In spring, a profusion of white to light pink flower clusters appear along the branches. They are followed in late summer by abundant clusters of edible red berries that persist throughout fall and well into winter.
Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea (Purple Japanese Barberry) is always a spectacular addition to the landscape where it brings a strong color accent from spring to fall. This dense, arching, deciduous shrub features broadly oval, reddish-purple leaves which turn into brilliant red or red-orange shades in the fall. Tiny, scented, pale yellow flowers appear in mid-late spring, followed by an abundant crop of bright red berries in the fall.
Grown for its clusters of spectacular berries that grace the plant throughout the fall and often in winter, Callicarpa americana (American Beautyberry) is a bushy, deciduous shrub with a naturally loose and graceful arching habit. Elegant with its long branches which seem to seek the ground, it bears clusters of small flowers of violet, pink, or white along its stems in early summer. Attractive to bees and butterflies, they are abundantly followed by clusters of glossy, bright violet to magenta fruits, which encircle the woody stems. Adding rich color and splendor to the landscape, they make a lovely contrast with the foliage of elliptical, coarse, fuzzy, light green leaves, that turns yellow in fall.
Callicarpa dichotoma (Purple Beautyberry) is a small, compact, rounded, deciduous shrub, primarily grown for its eye-catching display of purple berries from late summer through winter. Elegant with its long, arching branches often kissing the ground at their tips in a cascading or weeping effect, it bears clusters of small, pink to lavender flowers along the stems in summer. They are abundantly followed by clusters of luminous lilac-violet fruits in late summer, which persist after the leaves have fallen. Adding bold color to the late season garden, they make a lovely contrast with the foliage of elliptic green leaves that turns golden-yellow in fall.
Native to China, Heptacodium miconioides (Seven Son Flower) is a unique plant with year-round interest. This large, fountain-shaped, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub features clusters of fragrant, creamy-white flowers at branch ends over a long bloom season in late summer to early fall. The blooms appear in whorls, with each whorl containing 7 small flowers (hence the common name of Seven-Son Flower). They are a great source of nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds in the fall and are followed by even showier crops of purplish-red fruits crowned by eye-catching rose calyces which last into late fall. The large, heart-shaped leaves are shiny green and deeply veined. Heptacodium miconioides remains attractive in winter when strips of pale bark peel away to reveal dark brown inner bark. No serious insect or disease problems
Native to the swampy areas of Eastern North America, Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite' (Winterberry) is a dwarf shrub with excellent year round interest. This deciduous holly produces abundant small greenish-white flowers in late spring or early summer that are followed by a profusion of bright red berries in fall and winter. Extremely attractive, they enliven the winter landscape and often persist into early spring unless eaten by birds. The foliage consists in elliptic, toothed, glossy, dark green leaves.
Acclaimed for its heavy fruiting, Ilex verticillata 'Winter Gold' is a slow-growing, multi-stemmed shrub with an upright-rounded habit. This deciduous winterberry holly produces abundant small greenish-white flowers in late spring or early summer that are followed by a profusion of large, glossy golden-peachy berries from early fall throughout winter. Extremely attractive, they enliven the winter landscape and often persist into early spring unless eaten by birds. The foliage of dark green leaves warms up to golden-bronze in fall. 'Winter Gold' is a female plant and needs a male pollinator to produce the attractive golden berries.
Valued for its heavy fruit set and persistence, Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' is widely regarded as one of the best winterberries. Slow-growing, this multi-stemmed, deciduous winterberry holly enjoys a shapely oval form and produces abundant small greenish-white flowers in late spring or early summer. They are followed by a profusion of magnificent cherry red berries from fall throughout winter. Extremely attractive, they enliven the winter landscape and often persist into early spring unless eaten by birds.
One of the most popular female hybrid holly selections, Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Princess' is a bushy, spreading, broadleaf evergreen shrub with excellent year round interest. It produces abundant small white flowers in spring that give way to a profusion of attractive bright red berries in fall. Extremely showy, they enliven the winter landscape and persist throughout winter. This holly variety also offers dark purple stems and glossy, dark blue-green, spiny-toothed leaves.
Adding color and splendor to the shade garden, Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape Holly) is a striking evergreen shrub with multi-season interest. In spring, racemes of cheerful, bright golden-yellow flowers appear just above the leaves. Lightly fragrant, they attract pollinators before giving way to clusters of dark blue-purple, edible berries in late summer. Resembling small grapes, they attract birds and wildlife. They may be eaten fresh off the plant and make excellent jellies. The lustrous evergreen foliage of holly-like, leathery leaves, emerges bronze-red in spring, matures to glossy dark green by summer before turning deep burgundy in fall. This small ornamental shrub is the State Flower of Oregon.
Noted for its spectacular red berries and excellent foliage color, Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) is an attractive, small, evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub adding multi-season beauty to the garden. In spring, a profusion of tiny, white flowers adorned with golden anthers appear in long arching panicles at the tips of the branches. Rich in nectar, they attract bees and other pollinators. The flowers are followed by abundant clusters of green berries which ripen to bright red and persist throughout fall and winter. Ornamental and adding winter interest to the landscape, they are held against the lacy foliage which emerges purple, matures soft green and turns purple to reddish-purple in fall. Highly popular in the landscape, Heavenly Bamboo is one of the toughest and most adaptable plants, its berry-laden branches providing a pleasing vertical accent.
One of the hardiest close relative of Citrus, Poncirus trifoliata (Hardy Orange) is an extremely architectural, well-branched, deciduous shrub which provides significant ornamental interest over most seasons. Resembling orange blossoms, refreshingly fragrant, cup-shaped white flowers, 2 in wide (5 cm), appear in late spring and continue to flower through to early summer. They are followed by an abundance of golf-ball size, slightly furry fruits which ripen to a lovely golden-yellow in fall. If left on the tree, they will persist well into winter, adding interest in the garden. The foliage of three-palmate leaves emerges yellow-green in spring, turns glossy dark green in summer before turning a lovely butter-yellow in fall.
Well-known for its incredible hardiness and legendary disease resistance, Rosa rugosa is a vigorous, tough, prickly, sprawling, suckering shrub that is amazingly tolerant of dry sandy soils, salt spray and wind. It is covered with a plentiful array of remarkably fragrant, single, small pink flowers with yellow central stamens from early summer through the end of the growing season. Flowering is so profuse that the attractive blossoms nearly cover the handsome, glossy, wrinkled, heavily veined, rich green foliage. As an extra bonus, these are followed by large, edible fruits that are as pretty as the flowers themselves.
Perfect for shady gardens, Skimmia japonica (Japanese Skimmia) is a lovely, dense, mounded, evergreen shrub, prized for its fragrant flowers, aromatic leaves and showy fruits. In mid spring, large clusters of fragrant, star-shaped, creamy white flowers, occasionally tinged pink, appear at the branch tips. The pretty blooms of female plants give way to ornamental, glossy, bright red berries that ripen in fall and persist through winter. They contrast beautifully with the evergreen foliage of leathery, lance-shaped, rich green leaves, which is clustered in whorls at the branch ends. When crushed, the aromatic leaves exude a pleasant scent.
Viburnum opulus (European Cranberrybush) is prized for its spring foliage color, healthy summer foliage, vibrant fall color and showy fruits. In late spring, this multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub produces showy, lacy, white flowers in flat clusters. In late summer, the attractive blooms give way to pendulous clusters of ornamental fleshy, translucent, bright red berries that persist through mid fall. By winter, they shrivel and resemble dried red raisins. In the fall, the handsome foliage of relatively large, maple-like, dark green leaves, turns occasionally bright yellow-red or rich reddish purple.
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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