Lincoln is experiencing particularly brilliant fall colors this year. Aside from the popular burning bush pictured in the landscape above, these are some of our favorites for the season in a range of sizes to fit in any landscape. Several of these choices have fragrant flowers and berries to support pollinator habitats and other wildlife. These shrubs prefer full sun for the most vibrant colors.

Little Henry Sweetspire

Itea virginica ‘Little Henry”

This dwarf version of a Missouri native gets about 2 feet tall and 2.5 feet wide. Fragrant white flowers droop from the branches in early summer, attracting butterflies. Fall color rivals the bright red of the burning bush.

Brilliant Red Chokeberry


Aronia arbutifolia “Brilliantissima”

This upright shrub reaches six to eight feet tall and about four feet wide. White flowers in the spring are followed by glossy red berries and brilliant red fall color.


Goldflame Spirea

Spiraea x bumalda “Goldflame”

Mounded shrub maturing at three to four feet tall and wide. Foliage emerges reddish in the spring, matures to a bright chartreuse green in the summer, and finishes out the fall tinged with copper. Pink flowers add to early summer interest.

Pawnee Butte Sandcherry

Prunus besseyi

This cultivar of our native sand cherry grows about two feet tall and sprawls four to six feet wide. Fragrant white flowers cover the shrub in the spring, followed by black cherries. Its blue-green leaves turn shades rusty orange to deep red to purple in the fall.


Bailey Compact Viburnum

Viburnum trilobum “Bailey Compact”

This shrub gets five to six feet tall and wide with striking red fall color.


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