Plant Types / Shrubs
Adding interest and color throughout the seasons, shrubs are essential elements of many garden designs. The permanent structure associated with the wide array of size, flowers, foliage and fruits make them very desirable components of any plantings. There are flowering shrubs for almost every month of the year. You may want to create a year-round display and select beautiful shrubs to create dramatic spring, summer, fall or winter schemes. Check our list of shrubs and browse our fabulous garden ideas to get inspired. Before selecting any shrubs for your garden, remember to check that they are well-suited to your climate, sun exposure and soil conditions.
Noted for its remarkable flowers, fruit, leaves, and bark, Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree) is a charming, broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree with four-season ornamental interest. From fall to midwinter, a profusion of drooping clusters of fragrant, bell-shaped, white flowers hang at the tip of the branches. Pollinated by bees, the round, 1 in. fruits (2.5 cm) appear in winter and gradually ripen to yellow to red in twelve months. They are often in color when the new attractive flowers begin to bloom in fall.
Extremely winter hardy, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry) is a slow-growing, creeping, evergreen shrub with trailing red stems studded with small, leathery, shiny, obovate, dark green leaves, up to 1 in. long (2.5 cm). The foliage turns red or purplish in winter before becoming green again in spring. Pretty clusters of lantern-shaped, white-to-pink flowers hang gracefully from the short red stems in mid to late spring.
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.
Good-looking, drought tolerant and fragrant, award-winner Artemisia 'Powis Castle' is a bushy sub-shrub, which is highly valued for its fernlike, silvery-white foliage, that easily blends with any flower bulbs and other perennial plants. Yellow flowers appear in late summer or early fall, but they are not spectacular and are best cut off to keep the foliage at its best.
Mostly native to the U.S. and Canada, Asclepias include over 100 species of evergreen or deciduous perennials adorned with clusters of small, interestingly shaped blooms that are irresistible to butterflies. Attractive and easy to grow, they shine in many perennial gardens and are a key component of butterfly gardens, cottage gardens, or prairies and meadows.
Noted for its very long blooming season, Asclepias curassavica 'Silky Deep Red' (Tropical Milkweed) is an upright evergreen sub-shrub boasting eye-catching clusters of deep red flowers adorned with bright yellow hoods from late spring to late fall. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects.
Noted for its very long blooming season, Asclepias curassavica (Tropical Milkweed) is an upright evergreen sub-shrub boasting eye-catching clusters of orange-red flowers adorned with yellow hoods from early summer to fall. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects.
Perfect for shady gardens, Aucuba japonica (Spotted Laurel) is a dense, upright, rounded, evergreen shrub, prized for its lush foliage of leathery, glossy, rich green leaves mottled with golden yellow. In early to mid spring, small purple flowers, adorned with creamy white anthers, appear from the leaf axils (female plants), or in terminal panicles (male plants). When pollinated, the female blooms give way to ornamental, glossy, bright red berries that ripen in fall and often persist until spring.
An exclamation point in the landscape, award-winning Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm) is an evergreen shrub or tree forming a bulbous trunk-like stem crowned with a dense rosette of long, downward-curving, bright green, grassy leaves. Resembling an elephant's foot, the greatly swollen base of the trunk (caudex) stores water just like a camel's hump, enabling this plant to go dry for long periods.
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, but are insignificant in comparison to the foliage.
Noted for its beautiful burgundy summer and fall foliage, Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy' is a lovely, deciduous dwarf shrub with eye-catching, small, obovate, deep crimson leaves with a bronze tinge, which turn into brilliant red shades in the fall. Tiny, waxy, scented, pale yellow flowers appear in mid-late spring, but are insignificant in comparison to the foliage.
Very showy, award-winning Berberis thunbergii 'Fireball' (Japanese Barberry) is a compact, dwarf, deciduous shrub with a vibrant foliage of fiery red leaves. The striking coloring remains throughout the summer season and deepens in fall. 'Fireball' is perfect for brightening borders or containers and ideal for small gardens.
Berberis thunbergii 'Golden Rocket' (Japanese Barberry) is a compact, upright, deciduous shrub with a bright and fresh chartreuse foliage which provides a striking contrast to the coral colored stems. The leaf coloring continues throughout the summer season.
Award-winning Berberis thunbergii 'Orange Rocket' (Japanese Barberry) is a compact, upright, deciduous shrub with small, vibrant coral-orange new leaves that change to mid-green in summer before turning brilliant shades of red-orange in the fall.
Incredibly beautiful, award-winning Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Admiration' (Japanese Barberry) is a compact, dwarf, deciduous shrub with a showy foliage of glowing coral-red leaves adorned with thin golden-yellow margins. The striking coloring remains throughout the summer season and deepens in fall.
Award-winning Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Rose Glow' (Japanese Barberry) is a charming, small, deciduous shrub with an eye-catching foliage of deep rose-red leaves mottled with pink and white. Tiny, pale yellow flowers appear in mid-late spring, but are insignificant in comparison to the foliage.
Berberis thunbergii 'Rosy Rocket' (Japanese Barberry) is an upright, deciduous shrub with striking deep red leaves adorned with soft flamingo pink when young. Over time, the foliage matures to deep burgundy, creating an interesting bi-color effect. The leaf coloring deepens during the year, particularly in fall when the variegation gets more marked.
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.