Sunday, July 10, 2011

Deciduous Native Shrubs of Georgia

Deciduous trees and shrubs are those that are not evergreen and will lose their leaves at the end of the growing season. Typically, they will go through a color change as they reach the end of their growing season. These native shrubs of Georgia are all deciduous should you be looking for non-evergreen ones for your landscape.

Hydrangea quercifolia Bartr. (Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Deciduous shrub that will grow three to 12 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. Leaves look much like oak leaves. Plant this in partial shade and moist well-drained soil, and mulch well. This shrub has wonderful showy fall color from October to November. This shrub may be plagued with winter dieback, sunscald, and chlorosis in alkaline soils. Propagate by seed or softwood cuttings.

Hibiscus laevis All. (Halbered Mallow, Hibiscus militaris)
This deciduous perennial shrub grows up to six feet high with sharp-toothed leaves and cup-shaped flowers. Blooms are pink, sometimes white, and flower May through November. Blooms will open during the day and close up during the evening. It prefers sun or partial shade with moist soils. Propagate by seed after the pods open in the summer.

Hamamelis virginiana L. (American Witchhazel)
This deciduous shrub has numerous branches, and grows 15 to 25 feet tall. Flowers are yellow and strap-like with foliage light green. Branches are large and crooked. It prefers partial shade to full shade and moist acidic well-drained soil. Propagate from layering or stratified seed. Caution should be took because of its thin bark, and protected from things like weed and lawn cutting. Medicinal extracts have included salves prepared from the leaves, twigs, and bark. Twig extracts were believed to give occult powers. Dowsers practiced in the art of divining often use a fork of witchhazel wood to find water.

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