Pictures of Evergreen Shrubs

Boxwood topiaries with ball shape.

fotolinchen / Getty Images

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. 

  • 01 of 12

    Azalea and Rhododendron

    Picture of a rhododendron (affectionately known as a "rhodie").
    The Spruce / David Beaulieu

    Azaleas and rhododendrons, affectionately known as a "rhodies" are related, belonging to the same genus. In general, rhododendrons are larger shrubs than azaleas, and they have larger leaves. Azalea flowers typically have five stamens, while rhododendron flowers have 10. Finally, unlike rhododendrons, many azalea plants are deciduous.

  • 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.

  • 03 of 12


    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. When kept trimmed, they form a dense "living wall," making them effective privacy screens.

  • 04 of 12

    Gold Mop

    Background of a Chamaecyparis pisifera aurea falsecypress
    robcocquyt / Getty Images

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


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

    Boxwood is an outstanding plant for formal hedges. It is prized for its small, densely packed leaves, making it ideal for sculpting with a pair of garden shears or electric hedge trimmers.

  • 06 of 12


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

    Blue holly is another broadleaf evergreen shrub. Its older leaves develop a darker color that gives it its name. The younger leaves are lighter. The branch stems also are dark. 

  • 07 of 12


    Kurt Stricker / Getty Images

    Arborvitae is a needled evergreen shrub. The needles come in flat sprays and, if you look closely, they seem to be covered in scales. There are many types of arborvitae, ranging in height from short shrubs to tree-like specimens.

  • 08 of 12

    Mountain Laurel

    Mountain Laurel flowers
    Masahiro Makino / Getty Images

    Bay laurel is hardy only to USDA plant hardiness zone 8, but mountain laurel will grow as far north as zone 5. The 'Minuet' cultivar of mountain laurel boasts clusters of gorgeous pink flowers.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 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 makes it a versatile plant. One of yew's few drawbacks is that it makes the list of poisonous plants.

  • 10 of 12


    Picture of daphne with its white flowers.
    The Spruce / David Beaulieu

    Technically, Daphne is considered, at best, a semi-evergreen. 'Carol Mackie' daphne plants can function virtually as evergreen shrubs. They keep their leaves throughout most of the winter and are quickly replaced by new leaves in spring. There is little "downtime" in between: these daphnes almost provide you with the 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.

  • 11 of 12

    Creeping Juniper

    Close-up of Creeping Juniper
    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."

  • 12 of 12

    Blue Star Juniper

    juniperus squamata 'blue star'
    Photos Lamontagne / Getty Images

    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 to 3 feet in height at maturity, with a similar spread. Its foliage is densely packed.