Great Shrubs with Berries for Winter Interest for New England
Regional Gardening, Best Shrubs, New England Gardening
Plant one of these shrubs or small trees and enjoy a spectacular late fall and winter display. 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 are also fun to pick for indoor arrangements or Christmas decor.
Perfect for New England gardens, most of these attractive shrubs or trees have been awarded prestigious awards.
Great Shrubs with Berries for New England
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.
Extremely hardy, Berberis koreana (Korean Barberry) is a fabulous addition to the landscape thanks to its four seasons of interest. In mid-spring, this small, multi-stemmed, semi-evergreen shrub produces striking pendulous clusters of golden-yellow flowers. They are followed by an abundance of egg-shaped, bright red berries, which often persist well into winter. The summer foliage of elliptical, medium green leaves, turns dramatic maroon to deep purple shades in the fall.
One of the most popular barberries, award-winning 'Atropurpurea Nana' is a charming, deciduous dwarf shrub with eye-catching, reddish to purplish, small, obovate leaves which turn into brilliant red 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. Attractive to birds, they often remain on the spiny stems after the leaves have fallen.
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.
Noted for its colorful stems and twigs in winter, Cornus alba (Tatarian Dogwood) is a medium-sized ornamental shrub with great appeal. Rapidly-growing, adaptable to wet soils or dry soils, it enjoys spectacular decorative features: stunning fall color, attractive berries, showy red stems and sometimes a lovely variegated summer foliage. A spectacular addition in the garden for most seasons, Tatarian Dogwood certainly adds a WOW! to a winter landscape.
Remarkably ornamental and adaptable, Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry) is a deciduous shrub or small tree providing multiseason interest. In late winter to early spring, a profusion of small rounded clusters of tiny, bright yellow flowers open on the naked branches and will persist for several weeks. The showy blooms are followed by attractive glossy red, cherry-like fruits in midsummer. Edible, they may be used for syrups and preserves. Bushy, this small to medium sized flowering tree sports oval dark green leaves which turn purple in the fall, before shedding to the ground and revealing the rough, rich brown, exfoliating bark.
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.
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.
Extremely winter hardy, Prunus tomentosa (Nanking Cherry) is a very desirable, deciduous shrub with showy flowers, tasty fruits and eye-catching exfoliating bark. Opening from pink buds in early spring, as the leaves begin to unfold, masses of fragrant white flowers, up to 1 in. wide (2.5 cm), literally cover the stems. The bright red stalks and calyx make a lovely contrast with the white petals. They are followed by a profusion of edible, scarlet fruits which ripen in early-mid summer. The foliage of serrate, obovate to elliptic, dark green leaves is downy underneath. Nanking Cherry develops a lustrous dark reddish-brown bark that exfoliates in thin strips of vertical curls with age. Vigorous, Nanking Cherry adapts well to cold winters, hot summers and drought.
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.
Noted for its very ornamental, pure white, waxy berries, Symphoricarpos albus (Snowberry) is a thicket-forming, deciduous shrub with upright to arching branches that is amazingly adaptable and undemanding. In early summer, a profusion of small, bell-shaped, white to pink flowers are borne in clusters in the leaf axils. Inconspicuous, they are of great interest to butterflies, hummingbirds and pollinators. The flowers are followed by abundant and attractive clusters of brilliant snow-white berries that persist well into winter. The dense foliage of elliptic to rounded, blue-green leaves remains attractive from spring to frost but provides little fall color.
Viburnum lentago (Nannyberry) is a large, suckering, deciduous shrub or single- or multi-stemmed small tree noted for its eye-catching flower clusters, shiny foliage, fall color and fruit display. In spring, masses of flat-topped creamy-white flower clusters emerge from large vase-shaped buds and are elegantly held above the foliage. The blooms give way to pendulous clusters of bluish black berries with bright red stalks in fall. Showy when viewed up-close or from a short distance, they often persist into winter and are quite attractive to birds and wildlife. Tasty, the fruits can be eaten fresh from the shrub or used to make jams and preserves. The handsome foliage of ovate, finely toothed, glossy dark green leaves turns attractive shades of yellow, red, and purple in fall.
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.
With four seasons of interest, Viburnum trilobum 'Redwing' (American Cranberrybush) is a lovely addition to the landscape. In spring, this densely branched, deciduous shrub produces showy, lacy, white flowers in flat cymes of tiny fertile florets surrounded by an outer ring of larger sterile florets. They are elegantly held above the red-blushed leaves. In late summer, the attractive blooms give way to drooping clusters of ornamental bright red berries that persist from fall through early winter. In the fall, the handsome foliage of three lobed, maple-like, dark green leaves, turns brilliant red.
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Bark becomes an important ornamental element in winter when the shedding of leaves exposes trunks and branches and reveals its glory.
Here is a list of shrubs and trees that will help you create beautiful winter scenes and let you enjoy the winter season in a beautiful new way. All these plants are cold-hardy, versatile, fast-growing, and of great appeal in other seasons too
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|Plant Family||Prunus - Flowering Trees|
|Season of Interest||
|Characteristics||Plant of Merit, Showy|
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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.
3 - 7
1 - 3
|Plant Family||Prunus - Flowering Trees|
|Season of Interest||
|Characteristics||Plant of Merit, Showy|
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