Colorful Fall Shrubs For a Last Hurrah
By Kerry Ann Mendez
There are not many flowering shrubs that wait until the growing season's "last call" to flower. However, there are a handful that will brighten the landscape with lovely flowers enjoyed by both gardeners and pollinators.
Witch Hazel and More
Probably the last to flower is our native Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana. The sweet fragrant yellow flowers open in late October and will continue into November. These provide a precious food supply for migrating insects. Other flowering shrubs (including those that started flowering in August and continue into September) include Caryopteris (a butterfly magnet), Butterfly Bush, Heptacodium, and Lespedeza thunbergii.
Striking autumn berries can provide as much of a wow factor as fall flowers. Purple Beautyberry (Callicarpa), Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Snowberry (Symphoricarpos), Chokeberry (Aronia) and many Viburnum have radiant berries that are lovely for floral arrangements. Of course the birds would appreciate it if you left them in the landscape.
Dazzling foliage is also an important contributing factor to breathtaking autumn landscapes. Fiery red, orange, gold, bronze and purple leaves can create a riveting display. Shrubs applauded for their striking performance include Itea, various Viburnum and Azalea, Bottlebrush (Fothergilla), Summersweet (Clethra), Chokeberry (Aronia), Oakleaf Hydrangea, Low-Gro Sumac and Highbush Blueberry.
The above is just a sampling of wonderful shrubs that will provide a crescendo of fall color in your landscape. Stop in at Estabrook's so we can help you choose the best ones for your site.