30 Shrubs That Are Native to North Carolina

Broadleaf meadowsweet plant with small pink and white flower clusters in sunlight

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

If you're a North Carolina resident and notice a variety of shrubs in your area, you're in the right place. There are a plethora of shrub species surrounding you in your sunny state, and it's important to know which are native and which are invasive.

Here are 30 shrubs native to North Carolina.

  • 01 of 30

    Allegheny Chinkapin (Castanea pumila)

    Castanea pumila

    weisschr / Getty Images

    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
  • 02 of 30

    American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

    Purple Berries 2
    RichardBarrow / Getty Images

    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
  • 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
  • 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 (C. Americana) 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
    Continue to 5 of 30 below.
  • 05 of 30

    Black Huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata)

    Close-up of huckleberries growing on plant in farm
    Cavan Images / Getty Images

    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:

  • 06 of 30

    Black Raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

    Raspberry
    wuviveka / Getty Images

    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:

    • Black Raspberry Pastry Cream
    • Chambord Raspberry Brownies
    • Raspberry Fool

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

  • 07 of 30

    Broadleaf Meadowsweet (Spiraea latifolia)

    Broadleaf meadowsweet plant with small pink and white flower panicles on edge of stems

    The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

    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
  • 08 of 30

    Carolina Rose (Rosa carolina)

    Carolina Rose (Rosa carolina)
    David Q. Cavagnaro / Getty Images

    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
    Continue to 9 of 30 below.
  • 09 of 30

    Coastal Plain Willow (Salix caroliniana)

    planta salix caroliniana
    Oscar Yoshinori Toyofuku / Getty Images

    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
  • 10 of 30

    Coral Bean (Erythrina herbacea)

    Red Desert Flower
    Nate Hovee / Getty Images

    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
  • 11 of 30

    Creeping Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

    Gaultheria procumbens
    seven75 / Getty Images

    Creeping wintergreen is a tiny shrub that 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
  • 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
    Continue to 13 of 30 below.
  • 13 of 30

    Drooping Leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana)

    Leucothoe fontanesiana flowers
    undefined undefined / Getty Images

    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
  • 14 of 30

    Dwarf Palmetto (Sabal minor)

    Dwarf palmetto (Sabal minor) forest.
    M Timothy O'Keefe / Getty Images

    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
  • 15 of 30

    Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum)

    Flame azalea, calendulaceum, full bloom and leaves
    MartineDee / Getty Images

    There are many lovely rhododendrons and azaleas that are native to North Carolina. We 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: the 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.
  • 16 of 30

    Hearts-a-bustin' (Euonymus americanus)

    Bursting Hearts (Euonymus Americanus) Fruit Breaking Open In The Fall
    Design Pics / Robert Cable / Getty Images

    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
    Continue to 17 of 30 below.
  • 17 of 30

    Honeycup (Zenobia pulverulenta)

    Honeycup plant with small white bell-shaped blossoms on edge of stem with gray-green leaves

    The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

    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.
  • 18 of 30

    Large Fothergilla (Fothergilla major)

    Fothergilla major bush
    fotolinchen / Getty Images

    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.
  • 19 of 30

    Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)

    Leatherleaf
    RolfAasa / Getty Images

    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
  • 20 of 30

    Mayflower (Epigaea repens)

    Trailing Arbutus, a very early Spring Wildflower
    Ed Reschke / Getty Images

    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
    Continue to 21 of 30 below.
  • 21 of 30

    Mountain Andromeda (Pieris floribunda)

    Pieris floribunda flowers.
    HeitiPaves / Getty Images

    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
  • 22 of 30

    Mountain-Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

    Mountain Laurel Bouquet
    wbritten / Getty Images

    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.
  • 23 of 30

    Oak Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

    Hydrangea quercifolia (oak-leaved hydrangea) in full bloom in early summer garden
    poteco / Getty Images

    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
  • 24 of 30

    Scentless Mock Orange (Philadelphus inodorus)

    Flower of Philadelphus inodorus
    Illusory reality / Getty Images

    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
    Continue to 25 of 30 below.
  • 25 of 30

    Seaside Oxeye (Borrichia frutescens)

    Sea oxeye a.k.a. bushy seaside tansy (Borrichia frutescens) macro - Hollywood, Florida, USA
    Holly Guerrio / Getty Images

    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
  • 26 of 30

    Shrubby St. John's Wort (Hypericum prolificum)

    Shrubby st. john's wort (Hypericum prolificum)
    weisschr / Getty Images

    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
  • 27 of 30

    Swamp Titi (Cyrilla racemiflora)

    Titi plant blooming with several flower spikes
    cturtletrax / Getty Images

    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
  • 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
    Continue to 29 of 30 below.
  • 29 of 30

    Virginia Willow (Itea virginica)

    Itea virginica shrub in autumn, a flowering ornamental shrub with white flowers
    ZimaNady_klgd / Getty Images

    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
  • 30 of 30

    Wild Raisin Viburnum (Viburnum cassinoides)

    Wild Raisin Viburnum

    homeredwardprice / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    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