Friday, September 24, 2010

Deciduous Native Shrubs for Your Landscape

Want some lovely deciduous native shrubs for your landscape but are unsure about which one is right for your application? Shrubs really add texture and color throughout the yard, and gardeners love planting them as borders or as a standout piece in the landscape. These shrubs all have profiles telling you the way to plant them, general specifics to the native shrub, and little tidbits about them.

Calycanthus floridus L. (Eastern Sweetshrub, Carolina Allspice)
This deciduous shrub grows 4-8 feet tall. Its shape will depend on your planting technique; Full Sun locations will make it tight and round, and Shady locations will make it a more loose open shape. Leaves are fragrant when crushed, and has spicy scented rusty red flowers from May to June. It needs moist soil. A worry-free shrub, it's perfect for those who enjoy drying flowers and bark for potpourri.

Cephalanthus occidentalis L. (Common Buttonbush)
A deciduous shrub, the Buttonbush grows up to 18 feet tall. It will flower tiny white blossoms from June to September and fruit from September to October. The Buttonbush has traditionally had its bark used as a laxative and to cure skin ailments, but be highly cautious of this tradition as the bark contains cephalanthin poison that produces convulsions and paralysis. Bees will use the shrub in its honey making endeavors.

Chionanthus virginicus L. (White Fringetree, Grancey Greybeard)
This incredible deciduous shrub (or can be pruned to a small tree) is known for its light wispy fringe. This fringe is due to the airy white flowers that will come in May. It is very slow growing but will eventually top out around 15-20 feet. You'll love its adaptability and ease in your garden, just be sure you give it full sun or partial shade.

Clethra alnifolia L. (Coastal Sweetpepperbush, Summersweet)
This shade tolerant deciduous shrub will grow up to 8 feet tall. It has lovely reddish-brown bark. This shrub is mainly used purely ornamental due to its incredibly fragrant white flowers that appear July to August. It will fruit from September to October, but has little value to livestock and deer.

Hydrangea quercifolia Bartr. (Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Deciduous shrub that will grow 4-8 feet tall and is wider than it is high. It has dark green coarse leaves and white flowers that will turn pink and then tan in the course of its lifespan. Plant this in full shade to partial shade, and mulch well. This shrub has wonderful showy fall color from October to November

Photinia pyrifolia (Lam.) Robertson & Phipps (Red Chokeberry)
This deciduous slow growing shrub loves well drained soil and partial shade. It will grow up to 6-10 feet tall. It is good for putting wonderful red fall color into your garden and for attracting birds. It will flower from March to May with white or pink flowers.

Rhododendron canescens (Michx.) Sweet (Mountain Azalea)
This deciduous azalea grows 6-15 feet tall and puts out very showy pink flowers in early spring. It prefers acidic, but not limey, soils. The more sun it receives the bushier the shrub will become. Divide the clumps to propagate.

Rhododendron viscosum (L.) Torr. (Swamp Azalea)
This shrub gets up to 4-6 feet tall and has an equal spread. It prefers light shade and acidic moist soil. Its fragrant pink, white, or yellow flowers appear in late winter to early spring. There is deciduous foliage. You can propagate this by semi hardwood cuttings. BEWARE: Parts are poisonous if ingested

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