Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fall Color - Shrubs

Fall focus is naturally drawn to
spectacular tree foliage.
But many shrubs
add color to the show as well.

Barberry (Berberis thunbergii is brilliant against
Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)...
...or an evergreen backdrop.
But beware of Barberry's thorns!
Unfortunately, Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is
considered invasive in many states. 

Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'),
a great all around plant,
is also a great fall performer. 

Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenia) provides stellar fall color.
Check out Fall Ensemble for
plants to pair with Dwarf Fothergilla
for an even bigger show.

 Tatarian Dogwood (Cornus alba)
adds colorful fall foliage
to spring flowers and red winter branches
to round out its seasons of interest.

Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) offers
foliage color and berries to boot in the fall.

Foliage of some evergreen Azaleas, such as
'Hino Crimson', 'Blaauw's Pink' and 'Girard's Rose'
turns bronze to red in the fall.
They combine nicely with
Juniper, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Maiden Grass and Barberry. 

Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus 'Compactus' is one of the most vibrant fall color shrubs, and is often the default choice.  But there are good reasons to look beyond Burning Bush - it's large size, lack of interest in other seasons and invasive designation in many areas.  A colony sprouting from a neighbors plant just over my property line illustrates the point.  See USDA Plants Profile and for more information. 

Some Japanese Spirea, such as 'Magic Carpet,' display autumn color.

Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) has
beautiful fall color to add to its list of merits.
'Pee Wee' and 'Sikes Dwarf' are smaller cultivars.

An evergreen juniper base sets off the
burgundy leaves of Viburnum.

Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica) has striking fall foliage to accent its berries.  Although it's not related to notoriously invasive Bamboo, it is considered invasive in southeastern US - see and
USDA Plants Profile.

'Fire Power' Nandina is a cultivar for smaller spaces, and
said not to be invasive by the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

One of my favorites,
Summer Wine Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Summer Wine') makes
a dramatic fall statement with its brilliant color.

For more fall color, see
Brilliant Trees and
The Fall Color Project at the Home Garden.

Although autumn foliage is fading fast, berries should continue to brighten the landscape
and provide winter decoration - see Fall Fruit.


p3chandan said...

The vibrant fall colour is so breathtaking!

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris, Yes you are so right to draw attention to these wonderful shrubs for autumn colour. I agree that they are often overlooked in favour of trees but they can be just as showy. The combination of the Berberis and Pennisetum looks spectacular.

Toni said...

Beautiful fall color! The Oak Leaf Hydrangea is gorgeous -- one of my favorites in my shade garden. Yes, the Nandina domestica is "black listed" with the Texas Parks Dept., but I still love them. They are such versatile plants. The smaller varieties are not invasive, though. The 'Harbor Dwarf' in your picture looks more like 'Nana' or 'Firepower.' The leaf is a little bit different. All great plants!!

allanbecker-gardenguru said...

Thank you for sharing the awesome autumn foliage.

Chris said...

p3chandan- Thanks for your visit! It's been very pretty this year.

Edith- It's looking pretty bare around here, but a week ago when I took the last of the photos, it was just beautiful.

Toni-Thanks so much for the correction. I've made the adjustment and appreciate your sharp eyes!

Allan- I appreciate your stopping by and am glad you enjoyed it.

fer said...

So many beautiful colors!
I really like the last photo with the pumpkins.

Alistair said...

Fantastic Autumn colours Chris. I am really taken with the Oakleaf Hydrangea, going to try and locate it.

Anonymous said...

Very comprehensive coverage of shrubs for fall color. I like how you included invasive information. Barberry is also highly invasive. We just pulled 500 of them out of the woods on a small island in Maine. Studies also show that they are a haven for deer ticks compared to native shrubs. Thanks for this beautiful post. Carolyn

Chris said...

fer- The bright colors almost make up for the shorter and colder days. ;>)

Alistair- Glad you enjoyed the colors! Oakleaf Hydrangea is a really nice shrub and its fall color is exceptional.

Carolyn- Thanks for the tip that Barberry is invasive. I've updated the post with information on that. I appreciate your visit!

Meredehuit ♥ said...

Such beautiful colors! I've made note of a few of those shrubs for next we are winter white.

The Whimsical Gardener said...

Hi Chris, I've been searching high and low for the Oakleaf Hydrangea here in Central Texas. I'm afraid I'll have to wait until spring...yours is beautiful!

Ramona said...

Hi Chris, I'm glad I found your blog. I really enjoyed your photos about colorful fall shrubs. Fall is over in my area. We are shoveling snow! I will be more than ready to tinker around in my garden come spring.

Dave said...

Awesome! The colors are just brilliant. It looks like you might be the last participant in the Fall Color Project! Thanks for joining and adding so much for everyone to see!

Appalachian Feet said...

Fothergilla is one of my favorite fall plants and I love your pumpkins in a wheelbarrow! Great photos. :)

Tony Wilson said...

The burning bush does look nice.. thanks for share...

Burning Bush Shrubs

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