Pictures of Evergreen Shrubs

Kurt Stricker / Getty Images
  • 01 of 12

    Pictures of Evergreen Shrubs: "Rhodies"

    Picture of a rhododendron (affectionately known as a "rhodie").
    Azaleas and Rhododendrons Picture of a "rhodie.". David Beaulieu

    Needled, Broadleaf Evergreen Shrubs

    Bearing leaves as they do year-round, evergreen shrubs are the preferred bushes for privacy hedges, since they keep you from being exposed to prying eyes for all 12 months of the year. Needle-bearing evergreen shrubs with small, tightly spaced needles are especially useful in hedges, as they can be trimmed to precise shapes. Yews come to mind immediately. But broadleaf evergreen shrubs with small leaves, such as boxwood, also cry out for a good shearing that will turn them into nice, rectangular walls. Other evergreen shrubs may be striking enough to go solo and serve as specimens. Click on any of the pictures in the photo gallery below to learn more about that particular bush.

    Azaleas and rhododendrons (affectionately known as a "rhodies") are related....

    Azaleas and rhododendrons belong to the same genus. In general, rhododendrons are larger shrubs than are azalea plants, and they have larger leaves. Also, in general, azalea flowers have five stamens, while the rhododendron flowers have ten stamens. Finally, unlike rhododendrons, many azalea plants are deciduous.

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  • 02 of 12

    Euonymus Fortunei

    Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald Surprise', variegated
    Neil Holmes / Getty Images

    Emerald and Gold euonymus is grown for its variegated leaves.

    The leaves of Emerald and Gold are green on the inside, golden on the outside.

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  • 03 of 12

    Pictures of Evergreen Shrubs: Hemlock

    Formal topiary garden with hemlock (Tsuga) tree, Bedford, NY, New York, USA, Designer Hitch Layman
    Richard Felber / Getty Images

    Compact cultivars of Canadian hemlock essentially function as shrubs.

    Shrub-form Canadian hemlocks, when kept trimmed, form a dense "living wall," making them effective privacy screens. The hemlock hedge in this picture flanks a driveway entrance and gives the property behind it a private, secluded feeling.

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  • 04 of 12

    Gold Mop

    False Cypress gold mop
    Drew Avery/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Valued for its whimsical golden foliage, Gold Mop (or "Gold Mops") is one of the false cypresses.

    Gold Mop, like the prior entry, is a needled evergreen shrub. But instead of bearing a classic needle-like hemlock's, Gold Mop's needle is awl-shaped.

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  • 05 of 12

    Boxwood Picture

    Close-Up Of Boxwood Bushes In Amstelpark During Sunlight
    Ronald Leunis / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Boxwood is an outstanding plant for formal hedges.

    Boxwood is prized for its small, densely packed leaves, making it prime fodder for sculpting with a pair of garden shears (or electric hedge trimmers).

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  • 06 of 12

    Holy Holly!

    Holly (Ilex aquifolium) 'Pyramidalis', October
    Photos Lamontagne / Getty Images

    As the picture shows, the older leaves of blue holly develop a darker color that gives it its name.

    In the picture above, the lighter leaves you see are the younger ones. Like the older leaves, the branch stems of blue holly are dark. Blue holly is another broadleaf evergreen shrub.

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  • 07 of 12


    Kurt Stricker / Getty Images

    Unlike the prior entry, which was a broadleaf evergreen shrub, arborvitae is a needled evergreen shrub.

    The needles of arborvitae come in flat sprays and, if you look closely, the needles appear covered in scales. There are many types of arborvitae. They can range in height from short shrubs to tree-like specimens.

    Arborvitae literally translates (from Latin) as "tree of life." The name derives from the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River area by the French in the 16th century. The French, suffering at the time from the sailor's scourge, scurvy, learned from the natives that arborvitae's needles could be boiled, yielding a medicinal brew. As it turns out, the secret of the "tree of life" is a high vitamin-C content, making it useful in fighting scurvy.

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  • 08 of 12

    Mountain Laurel

    Mountain Laurel flowers
    masahiro Makino / Getty Images

    Bay laurel is hardy only to zone 8, but mountain laurel will grow as far north as zone 5.

    The picture shows a cultivar of mountain laurel, called 'Minuet.'

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  • 09 of 12


    Red 'arils' of yew tree (Taxus baccata), September
    Cora Niele / Getty Images

    The tolerance the yew has for shade and the ease with which it can be shaped into a hedge make it a versatile plant.

    One of yew's few drawbacks is that it makes the list of poisonous plants.

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  • 10 of 12


    Picture of daphne with its white flowers. Buds on daphne start out pink but produce white flowers.
    'Carol Mackie' Daphne Has Tough, Attractive Foliage Picture of daphne with its white flowers. David Beaulieu

    Technically, daphne is considered, at best, a semi-evergreen.

    Technical classifications aside, the 'Carol Mackie' daphne shrubs in my zone 5 garden function virtually as evergreen shrubs. They keep their leaves throughout most of the winter. Just after the old leaves start to lose their luster in late winter, new leaves quickly replace them in spring. There is little "down time" in between: these daphnes almost provide you with same foliar continuity as do true evergreen shrubs.

    As a bonus, the leaves of 'Carol Mackie' daphne are variegated. All of which is especially impressive when you consider that daphne is grown primarily for its fragrant flowers!

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  • 11 of 12

    Pictures of Evergreen Shrubs: Juniper Ground Cover

    Close-up of Creeping Juniper or Horizontal Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Glauca), Cupressaceae
    DEA / RANDOM / Getty Images

    Creeping junipers are effective for soil erosion prevention.

    To inject some interesting color, to boot, plant the aptly named "Blue Rug junipers."

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  • 12 of 12

    Blue Star Juniper Bush

    juniperus squamata 'blue star'
    Photos Lamontagne / Getty Images

    Not all evergreens are green in color. Earlier, we saw examples of shrubs with golden foliage.

    Blue Star juniper is a needled evergreen with silvery-blue foliage. This slow-growing plant is a dwarf, forming a compact mound that reaches just 1-3 feet in height at maturity, with a similar spread. Its foliage is densely packed.