30 Shrubs That Are Native to North Carolina

  • 01 of 30

    Allegheny Chinkapin (Castanea pumila)

    Allegheny Chinkapin
    Image by FritzFlohrReynolds under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    This shrub (or small tree) is a type of chestnut that is a bit less likely to develop chestnut blight, though it can definitely fall prey to this disease unfortunately. The small nuts are found inside the prickly husk and are edible for humans. Wildlife like squirrels and deer like to feed on the nuts or leaves of the plant. The larvae of the orange-tipped oakworm moth (Anisota senatoria) is known to eat the leaves.

    It does sometimes spread by suckers and form thickets. This characteristic becomes positive when you are trying to create a native garden on a budget.

    • Scientific Name: Castanea pumila. Some botanists have this as Castanea pumila var. pumila to distinguish it from Castanea pumila var. ozarkensis. Others separate these shrubs into several different species.
    • Family: Fagaceae
    • Other Common Names: American chinquapin, Ozark chinkapin, tree chinkapin, dwarf chestnut, chinkapin, common chinkapin, golden chinkapin
    • Also Native to: Eastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 5-9
    • Size: 6-30' tall and 6-20' wide
    • Exposure: Full sun
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  • 02 of 30

    American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

    American Beautyberry
    Image by kingair42 under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    The beautyberries are prized for their gorgeous fall fruit displays and this species is no exception. In late summer or early autumn, the branches become covered with clusters of purple drupes. They will be present through at least some of winter and serve as food for wildlife. If you want to try something unusual, look for the lactea variety as it sports white fruits.

    You can only eat a few of the drupes at a time since they are astringent. You can also cook them up to make jelly.

    • Scientific Name: Callicarpa americana
    • Family: Lamiaceae
    • Other Common Names: French mulberry, sowberry, Spanish mulberry, bunchberry, purple beautyberry, Bermuda mulberry or sourberry
    • Also Native to: Southeastern United States, Mexico and the Caribbean
    • USDA Zones: 6-10
    • Size: 3-8' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Full sun for best flowering and fruiting
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  • 03 of 30

    American Mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum)

    American Mistletoe
    Image by Franco Folini under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    Did you know that everyone's favorite smooch-inducing plant is actually a semi-parasitic shrub? The American mistletoe has a special type of modified root that allows it to burrow into branches of trees and take nutrients and water from there. It also is able to make its own food since the leaves do contain chlorophyll.

    It is not usually too harmful to the host plant, however, so you need not worry about pruning it away unless the infestation is especially severe. You would have to remove all infected branches for the problem to go away and this could prove to be more detrimental than the mistletoe itself.

    This is a poisonous plant, so use caution when placing it around the house as a decoration.

    Some botanists classify this as a subshrub.

    • Scientific Name: Phoradendron leucarpum. You may also see it listed as Phoradendron serotinum.
    • Family: Depending on the source, it is Loranthaceae, Santalaceae or Viscaceae
    • Other Common Names: Mistletoe, oak mistletoe
    • Also Native to: Eastern United States
    • USDA Zones:
    • Size: 1-3' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Light shade that naturally exists from sunlight hitting tree branches
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  • 04 of 30

    Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta)

    Beaked Hazelnut shrub
    Image by Superior National Forest under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    The beaked hazelnut is a North Carolina native shrub that is a sibling of the more familiar common (Corylus avellana) and American () hazelnuts. It bears that name because the husk outside of the edible nut is long and shaped like a bird's beak. The californica variety is native to western North America specifically and is known as the western hazelnut.

    This is another species that can be used to rapidly populate a native garden since it will send out suckers. They may be pruned out if you wish to keep the shrub from spreading.

    • Scientific Name: Corylus cornuta
    • Family: Betulaceae
    • Other Common Names: Beaked hazel, California hazelnut, California filbert
    • Also Native to: North America
    • USDA Zones: 4-8
    • Size:4-12' tall and wide 
    • Exposure: Partial shade is best
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  • 05 of 30

    Black Huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata)

    Black Huckleberry
    Image by ssetaro under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    While you are out foraging in North Carolina, you may come across the black huckleberry. The fruit is edible for humans (make sure that you properly identify it before chowing down!) and resembles a blueberry (its cousin) in both appearance and taste.

    Since this is a member of the Ericaceae family, it needs acidic soil for proper growth. The flowers of the black huckleberry are a delight for butterflies, and the fruit serves as food for wildlife.

    This species is also prone to suckering and can be controlled through pruning.

    • Scientific Name: Gaylussacia baccata
    • Family: Ericaceae
    • Other Common Names: Huckleberry
    • Also Native to: Eastern North America
    • USDA Zones: 3-7
    • Size: 1-4' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Part sun is best. Lower flower and fruit production may occur in shadier spots.

    Recipes to Try:

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  • 06 of 30

    Black Raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

    Black Raspberry
    Image by wackybadger under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    The black raspberry is a close sibling of the red raspberry (Rubus idaeus). When these two species are crossed, the resulting hybrid is known as a purple raspberry. You can distinguish this fruit from a blackberry by attempting to gently pull the fruit off of the stem. The black raspberry will slip right off, leaving a white core behind. You will not be able to remove the blackberry in this manner.

    There are also varieties of this species that will produce yellow fruit.

    • Scientific Name: Rubus occidentalis
    • Family: Rosaceae
    • Other Common Names: Scotch cap, black cap raspberry, thimbleberry or wild black raspberry
    • Also Native to: Eastern North America
    • USDA Zones: 3-8
    • Size: 3-4' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade 

    Recipes to Try:

    You can generally substitute the black raspberry into any recipe that calls for raspberries since they have similar flavors and textures.

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  • 07 of 30

    Broadleaf Meadowsweet (Spiraea latifolia)

    Broadleaf Meadowsweet
    Image by wplynn under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License

    This lovely little shrub produces clusters (panicles) of pink and white flowers that will attract butterflies to your garden. A sibling species that can commonly be found in the landscape is the bridal wreath spirea.

    • Scientific Name: Spiraea latifolia. Some botanists treat this as Spiraea alba var. latifolia.
    • Family: Rosaceae
    • Other Common Names: Meadow sweet, meadowsweet, broad-leaved meadowsweet, northern meadowsweet, white meadowsweet
    • Also Native to: Eastern North America
    • USDA Zones: 3-8
    • Size: 1-6' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
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  • 08 of 30

    Carolina Rose (Rosa carolina)

    CarolinaRoseFlickrmmmavocado.jpg
    Image by mmmavocado under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    The Carolina rose produces blossoms that have a single row of pale pink petals. It bears hips (fruit) that turns red in the fall. Unlike some of the other roses, the thorns are straight instead of curved.

    This species of rose does tend to spread itself through suckering and would be best suited to an informal native garden. You can also limit the spreading by removing any suckers that appear.

    • Scientific Name: Rosa carolina
    • Family: Rosaceae
    • Other Common Names: Low rose, pasture rose
    • Also Native to: Eastern North America  
    • USDA Zones: 4-9
    • Size: 1-3' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Full sun is best, though it can handle some shade
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  • 09 of 30

    Coastal Plain Willow (Salix caroliniana)

    Coastal Plain Willow
    Image by homeredwardprice under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    This species of willow can be either a shrub or small tree. Like others in the genus, it loves water and is usually found in wetlands. The larvae of some butterflies and moths like to feed on the leaves. Some people find that they are allergic to the pollen produced by the flowers.

    • Scientific Name: Salix caroliniana
    • Family: Salicaceae
    • Other Common Names: Carolina willow
    • Also Native to: Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and the southeastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 7-10
    • Size: Usually around 15-30' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
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  • 10 of 30

    Coral Bean (Erythrina herbacea)

    Coral Bean
    Image by desertdutchman under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    If you want hummingbirds to visit your garden, the coral bean is an excellent choice. The bright red tubular flowers are favored by those birds. Butterflies are also fond of this shrub.

    It can also serve as a specimen plant to draw attention to a specific location in your garden. The name coral bean is given because of the color of the (poisonous) fruit found in the dark brown pods.

    • Scientific Name: Erythrina herbacea
    • Family: Fabaceae
    • Other Common Names: Mamou plant, cardinal spear, Cherokee bean, red cardinal
    • Also Native to: Mexico and the southeastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 7-10
    • Size: Anywhere from 3-20' tall and wide, with the larger shrubs usually occurring in the warmer zones.
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
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  • 11 of 30

    Creeping Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

    Creeping Wintergreen
    Image by Robert Benner Sr. under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    This tiny shrub works well if you are trying to make sure that color is present in your garden for all four seasons. In spring, you get the evergreen leaves. At the start of summer, the plant begins producing the white bell-shaped flowers that are characteristic of the Ericaceae family. Once they are pollinated, they produce bright red edible berries that will be present during fall and winter.

    The leaves of this shrub used to be processed to make wintergreen oil.

    You will need to have acid soil present for this plant to grow properly. If the pH level is not too much higher than neutral (7.0), you can try making your soil more acidic. You may need to repeat the process if tests at a later time show that the pH levels have shifted back.

    • Latin Name: Gaultheria procumbens
    • Family: Ericaceae
    • Other Common Names: Boxberry, spreading wintergreen, checkerberry, wintergreen, American wintergreen or eastern teaberry
    • Also Native to: Northeastern North America
    • USDA Zones: 3-8
    • Size: 3-6" tall and up to 1' wide
    • Exposure: Part shade to full shade
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  • 12 of 30

    Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum)

    DeerberryFlickrssetaro.jpg
    Image by ssetaro under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    The deerberry is in the same genus as fruits like blueberries, cranberries and lingonberries. The flowers are the typical white bell-shaped blossoms found in this family and feature stamens (male reproductive parts) and a pistil (female) that are longer than the petals.

    The large fruit is edible and as the name deerberry suggests, they are a favorite food for this animal. 

    • Scientific Name: Vaccinium stamineum
    • Family: Ericaceae
    • Other Common Names: Buckberry, tall deerberry, southern gooseberry, highbush huckleberry, 
    • Also Native to: North America
    • USDA Zones: 5-9
    • Size: 6-15' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Some light shade is best, though it can also grow in full sun
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  • 13 of 30

    Drooping Leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana)

    Drooping Leucothoe
    Image by Kid Cowboy under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    Another representative of the Ericaceae family that is native to North Carolina is the drooping leucothoe. It has lovely drooping clusters of white flowers that are shaped like bells. It has received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.

    One beautiful cultivar is 'Rainbow' It features leaves that are variegated with pink and white.

    • Scientific Name: Leucothoe fontanesiana
    • Family: Ericaceae
    • Other Common Names: Fetterbush, mountain doghobble, dog hobble, switch ivy, highland dog hobble or fetter bush
    • Also Native to: Southeastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 5-8
    • Size: 3-6' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Partial to full shade is best
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  • 14 of 30

    Dwarf Palmetto (Sabal minor)

    DwarfPalmettoFlickrscott.zona.jpg
    Image by scott.zona under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    The dwarf palmetto is a smaller sibling of the cabbage palmetto (Sabal palmetto). This species is a great choice for cooler regions as it is able to tolerate some frost. There are some varieties that can withstand even colder temperatures than the species. This tolerance is aided by the fact that the trunk usually stays below the surface of the soil. Choosing a spot that offers shelter from the worst of the elements will also help it survive.

    • Scientific Name: Sabal minor
    • Family: Arecaceae
    • Other Common Names: Bush palmetto, bluestem palmetto, swamp palm, swamp palmetto, blue palm, dwarf palm, blue-stem palm, blue palmetto
    • Also Native to: Southeastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 7-11. Check your variety to make sure it can withstand 7 if you live in that zone as not all do. They may be able to live in even colder zones if mulched well.
    • Size: 2-10; wide and 3-10' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade, with partial shade being best
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  • 15 of 30

    Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum)

    FlameAzaleaFlickrbillmiky.jpg
    Image by billmiky under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License

    There are many lovely rhododendrons and azaleas that are native to North Carolina. I find the flame azalea to be especially gorgeous with its vibrant orange blossoms that come in many different hues. They are also sometimes light yellow. It is an excellent choice for a speciment plant since it is sure to draw your eye towards it. Plant in acidic soil.

    This species does not usually cross with other related species to form a hybrid since it is a tetraploid that has extra chromosomes.

    Take care when planting if you have pets or small children as this is a poisonous plant.

    • Scientific Name: Rhododendron calendulaceum
    • Family: Ericaceae
    • Also Native to: Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 5-7
    • Size: 4-12' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Partial shade is best. It can also tolerate full sun or full shade depending on the location.
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  • 16 of 30

    Hearts-a-bustin' (Euonymus americanus)

    Hearts-A-Burstin
    Image by seabird7 under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    How can you not love a plant that has common names like hearts-a-bustin', hearts-a-burstin' and wahoo? Many of these common names refer to the pinkish-red fruit that cracks open to reveal brilliant orange arils inside. Each one encases a seed. These fruits are especially loved by deer.

    You may need to prune away suckers as they form if you wish to not have this shrub spread itself. It is also somewhat poisonous if a lot is eaten.

    • Scientific Name: Euonymus americanus
    • Family: Celastraceae
    • Other Common Names: Wahoo, hearts-a-burstin', arrow-wood, American strawberry bush, Brook euonymus, bursting-heart, strawberry bush
    • Also Native to: Eastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 6-10
    • Size: 4-6' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Partial to full shade
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  • 17 of 30

    Honeycup (Zenobia pulverulenta)

    Honeycup shrub
    Image by Peganum via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    This is the only species to be classified in the Zenobia genus. It does well in acidic soil that is moist and is usually found in areas with bogs. The name honeycup is used because the bell-shaped blossoms have a sweet fragrance.

    The leaves can be either deciduous or semi-evergreen and are powdery gray-green or a little blue in hue. Once fall arrives, the foliage shifts to reds, yellows and oranges before dropping. If you like leaves that are bluish, look for the 'Blue Sky'  or 'Woodlander's Blue' cultivars.

    • Scientific Name: Zenobia pulverulenta
    • Family: Ericaceae
    • Other Common Names: Dusty zenobia, honey-cup, zenobia
    • Also Native to: Southeastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 5-8. 9 is possible, though it may sometimes struggle a little in the warmer weather found in that zone.
    • Size: 3-6' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade. Ideally, try to find a location with full sun to get the best possible fall leaf colors.
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  • 18 of 30

    Large Fothergilla (Fothergilla major)

    LargeFothergillaFlickrDrewAvery.jpg
    Image by Drew Avery under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    One distinctive feature on this shrub are the fragrant white flowers that look like bottlebrushes. They appear at the start of spring even before the leaves unfurl. It also has an excellent fall foliage display where the leaves change into hues of orange, yellow and red. The Royal Horticulture Society named it as a recipient of its Award of Garden Merit.

    You need to choose a spot where the soil is acidic so that this species can grow properly. Maintenance may be needed to curb suckers if you do not want the shrub to clone itself and spread.

    • Scientific Name: Fothergilla major
    • Family: Hamamelidaceae
    • Other Common Names: Witch-alder, mountain witchalder, large witch-alder or mountain witch alder
    • Also Native to: Allegheny Mountains of the southeastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 4-8
    • Size: 6-10' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade. Shade is best for hotter zones.
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  • 19 of 30

    Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)

    Leatherleaf
    Image by Superior National Forest under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    Leatherleaf is an evergreen shrub that needs to be grown in acidic soil and likes boggy areas. It bears a plethora of white bell-shaped flowers.

    It is the only species to be classified within the Chamaedaphne genus. Some butterfly larvae will feed on the leaves.

    • Scientific Name: Chamaedaphne calyculata
    • Family: Ericaceae
    • Other Common Names:  Cassandra
    • Also Native to: Northern Hemisphere
    • USDA Zones: 3-7
    • Size: Up to 5' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
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  • 20 of 30

    Mayflower (Epigaea repens)

    Mayflower
    Image by InAweofGod'sCreation under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    The mayflower is a diminutive evergreen shrub that can be used as a groundcover. It bears lovely pink blossoms that have a tubular shape. Use this plant if you have acidic soil.

    Even though it contains arbutus in one of its common names, it is not part of the Arbutus genus.

    • Scientific Name: Epigaea repens
    • Family: Ericaceae
    • Other Common Names: Trailing arbutus, ground laurel
    • Also Native to: Eastern North America
    • USDA Zones: 3-9
    • Size: Usually under 6" tall and wide
    • Exposure: Part shade to full shade
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  • 21 of 30

    Mountain Andromeda (Pieris floribunda)

    Mountain Andromeda
    Image by blumenbiene under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    Mountain andromeda can be either a shrub or small tree and is evergreen. As the species name lets you know (floribunda), this plant is covered with clusters of white bell-shaped flowers. It is a poisonous plant, so you may want to skip it if your household includes pets or small children.

    • Scientific Name: Pieris floribunda
    • Family: Ericaceae
    • Other Common Names: Fetterbush, mountain fetterbush, mountain pieris
    • Also Native to: Eastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 4-6
    • Size: 3-6' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
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  • 22 of 30

    Mountain-Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

    Mountain Laurel Shrub
    Image by M. Martin Vicente under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    The mountain laurel is an evergreen plant that can be either a shrub or small tree. The cup-shaped flowers can be white or shades of pink. You will find purple marks inside the flower. 

    This shrub is considered to be poisonous, so take that into account if you are thinking about adding it to your garden.

    • Latin Name: Kalmia latifolia
    • Family: Ericaceae
    • Other Common Names: Spoonwood, calico bush, lambkill, ivybush, clamoun or sheep laurel
    • Also Native to: Eastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 5-9
    • Height: Normally anywhere from 5-15' tall, but can be over 40'.
    • Exposure: Full sun to full shade, though for best results plant in at least part shade.
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  • 23 of 30

    Oak Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

    Hydrangea quercifolia
    Image by wlcutler under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    Both the scientific and common names let you know that the foliage on this shrub is similar to those on oak (Quercus) trees and shrubs. In the colder regions, look for the 'Snow Queen' cultivar. There are also dwarf cultivars like 'Pee Wee' available.

    It can be a bit poisonous if someone managed to eat a lot of this.

    • Scientific Name: Hydrangea quercifolia
    • Family: Hydrangaceae
    • Other Common Names: Oak-leaved hydrangea, oakleaf hydrangea
    • Also Native to: Southeastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 5-9
    • Size: 3-10' tall and 4-10' wide
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
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  • 24 of 30

    Scentless Mock Orange (Philadelphus inodorus)

    Scentless Mock Orange
    Image by zigazou76 under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    If you like the look of orange blossoms but not the fragrance (or are allergic), try planting a scentless mock orange. They only have a hint of scent. Each shrub will produce an abundance of white flowers, making this a good possibility for a specimen shrub.

    • Scientific Name: Philadelphus inodorus
    • Family: Hydrangaceae
    • Other Common Names: Mockorange, Appalachian mock-orange
    • Also Native to: Eastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 6-9
    • Size: 6-10' tall and 6-8' wide
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
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  • 25 of 30

    Seaside Oxeye (Borrichia frutescens)

    SeasideOxeyeFlickrNOAAPhotoLibrary.jpg
    Image by NOAA Photo Library under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    As you might guess from the common name, this plant does well in seaside gardens since it can tolerate salt in the air and soil. It is also able to tolerate a variety of pH levels and periods of drought. The yellow flowers will attract butterflies to your landscape.

    • Scientific Name: Borrichia frutescens
    • Family: Asteraceae
    • Other Common Names: Bushy seaside tansy, sea oxeye daisy, silver sea-oxeye-daisy or sea-marigold
    • Also Native to: United States and Mexico
    • USDA Zones: 7-11. The plant may die back yearly in cooler areas
    • Size: 2-3' tall and 2-4' wide
    • Exposure: Full sun
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  • 26 of 30

    Shrubby St. John's Wort (Hypericum prolificum)

    Shrubby St. John's Wort
    Image by fritzflohrreynolds under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    This shrub bears an abundance of cheery yellow blossoms in summer. They have a great number of stamens (male reproductive parts) present.

    You can prune it to form a hedge. As long as you give it regular watering after planting to give it a chance to anchor down the roots, it can tolerate periods of drought.

    • Scientific Name: Hypericum prolificum
    • Family: Hypericaceae
    • Other Common Names: Cinnamon stick, shrubby St. Johnswort, St. John's wort
    • Also Native to: Central and eastern North America
    • USDA Zones: 4-8, may be able to be grown in 3
    • Size: 1-6' tall and 1-4' wide
    • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
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  • 27 of 30

    Swamp Titi (Cyrilla racemiflora)

    Swamp Titi shrub
    Image by peganum under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    Swamp titi can be either a shrub or small tree and evergreen or deciduous depending on where it grows, tending to lose its leaves in colder regions. The foliage may also turn shades of red. It likes acidic moist soil and is found in wetland areas. The white flowers form in long clusters and are fragrant.

    This is the only species that many botanists have placed within the Cyrilla genus, though others have divided it into several different species.

    • Scientific Name: Cyrilla racemiflora
    • Family: Cyrillaceae
    • Other Common Names: He huckleberry, cyrilla, red titi, littleleaf cyrilla, swamp cyrilla, ironwood, swamp ironwood, black titi, leatherwood, myrtle, swamp leatherwood, littleleaf titi or white titie
    • Also Native to: Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Mexico and the Southeastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 5-10
    • Size: Usually 4-15' tall and wide, but can get up to 30' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun is best, though it can grow in partial shade if needed
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  • 28 of 30

    Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina)

    Sweetfern
    Image by Cranbrook Institute of Science under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    This is the only species placed in the Comptonia genus. The leaves feature margins (edges) that are toothed and lobed in a way that looks like a fern leaf, lending itself to the common name. They are also fragrant. This, however, is not a true fern.

    One interesting feature of this plant is that it is able to fix nitrogen, meaning it is able to harness the element from the atmosphere for use. There are not many other nitrogen fixing species like this outside of the Fabaceae family.

    • Scientific Name: Comptonia peregrina
    • Family: Myricaceae
    • Other Common Names: Sweet-fern
    • Also Native to: Eastern North America
    • USDA Zones: 2-6
    • Size: 2-4' tall and can be twice as wide from spreading by rhizomes
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
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  • 29 of 30

    Virginia Willow (Itea virginica)

    Virginia Willow
    Image by Elsa Spezio under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    Unfortunately, common names can be a bit misleading. In this case, the Virginia willow is not a true willow shrub. Those plants are found within the Salix genus.

    Long drooping clusters of white flowers are a beautiful feature of this species. One cultivar is 'Henry's Garnet', which is so named because the leaves change to that color in the fall before they drop.

    • Scientific Name: Itea virginica
    • Family: Iteaceae
    • Other Common Names: Virginia sweetspire, tassel-white, Virginia sweet spire, itea
    • Also Native to: Southeastern United States
    • USDA Zones: 5-9
    • Size: 3-6' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
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  • 30 of 30

    Wild Raisin Viburnum (Viburnum cassinoides)

    Wild Raisin Viburnum
    Image by homeredwardprice under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    In spring, the wild raising viburnum is covered with clusters of white blossoms.The fruit starts out as pink and shifts to black as time progresses. This viburnum shrub will provide color during the winter since its black fruit will persist on the plant until then. If you want one that is a bit unusual for the species, look for the 'Deep Pink' cultivar, which bears fruit that stays in that hue instead of darkening.

    • Scientific Name: Viburnum cassinoides. Some botanists classify this as Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides.
    • Family: Adoxaceae
    • Other Common Names: Witherod viburnum, northern witherod, Appalachian tea, swamp haw, wild raisin, blue haw, shawneehaw or possum haw
    • Also Native to: Eastern North America
    • USDA Zones: 3-8
    • Size: 5-12' tall and wide
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade