2018 brings new selections of North American natives for small spaces. Add flashes of seasonal color and structure to perennial beds with these new choices. For those looking for a statement, check out some of the larger hydrangeas, winterberries, and viburnums available.

Small Space Shrubs

Lowscape Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) 12-24″ tall, 18-24″ wide. Low, tidy, mounding form on this tough North American native. It blooms in the spring with hundreds of tiny white flowers, followed by dark purple fruit in the fall, set off nicely by brilliant red fall foliage. It can handle just about any landscape situation: dry to wet, hot to cold, full sun to part shade.

Cesky Gold Dwarf Birch (Betula x plattkei)

2-4′ tall, 2-3′ wide. Foliage emerges in shades of yellow, orange, and red, and brightens to chartreuse for the summer. Can be hedged or left alone to grow into its fan-shaped habit. 

Beyond Midnight Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis)

2-3′ tall and wide. Dark glossy foliage with showy deep blue late-summer flowers. A pollinator magnet with compact habit. Full sun.

Bangle Genista (Genista lydia ‘Select’)

2′ tall and wide. A tiny shrub with electric yellow spring flowers. Heat & drought tolerant. Full sun.

Berry Poppins Winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘FARROWBPOP’) + Mr. Poppins Winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘FARROWMRP’)

3-4′ tall and wide. This dwarf deciduous holly looses its leaves each fall, allowing the berries to stand out in the winter landscape. A North American native that supports birds and other wildlife during the winter. Plant at least one Mr. Poppins per five female Berry Poppins to ensure good berry production. Partial sun to full sun.

Scentlandia Sweetspire (Itea virginica ‘SMNIVDFC’)

2-3′ tall and wide. This sweetspire has the best fragrance on a small plant with outstanding red fall foliage. This North American nativar can handle wet or dry soils, and tolerates some shade.

Pencil Point Juniper (Juniperus communis ‘Pencil Point’) 3-6′ tall, 10-12″ wide. A good small vertical accent with dense, delicately textured evergreen foliage. Plant in full sun.

Creeping Mahonia (Mahonia repens)

18-24″ tall, 3-4′ wide. Low, spreading, evergreen ground cover that blooms yellow followed by blue-black berries. Partial shade.

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘SMPOTW)

3-5′ tall, 3-4′ wide. Ninebarks are a favorite North American native, and this dwarf selection fits well in smaller spaces. Pink and white flowers bloom in the spring on deep bronze-maroon foliage. Plant in full sun.

Lil’ Ditty Viburnum (Viburnum cassinoides)

12-24″ tall and wide. Puffy white, fragrant blooms in the spring followed by berries in the fall on a tiny, compact plant. Sun to partial sun.

Lemony Lace Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa ‘SMNSRD4’)

3-5′ tall and wide. The lacy foliage of Black Lace Elderberry in a new, bright chartreuse color. Large clusters of white flowers bloom in the spring, followed by a flush of new growth that emerges red before fading to chartreuse. This cultivar of a North American native can handle full sun to partial sun and wet soils.

Mid Sized Bloomers

Snow Day Surprise Pearl Bush (Exochorda hybrid ‘Niagara’)

4-5′ tall, 3-4′ wide. A stronger, more compact selection than old-fashioned pearl bush, with the same showy spring flower display. Full sun to partial sun.

Baby Lace Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘PIIHP-I’ Plant Patent #23,387) 3-4′ tall and wide. Dwarf Hydrangea with lacy white flowers for full sun.
Snow Queen Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’) 4-5′ tall, 5-6′ wide. Huge, 8″ white flowers bloom on oak leaf-shaped foliage that turns deep red in the fall. Flowers deepen to rose pink as the season progresses. Exfoliating bark adds to winter interest. Performs best in partial shade.

Large Massing Shrubs

Berri Magic Kids Holly (Ilex x meserveae ‘Blue Girl’ & ‘Blue Boy’) 6-8′ tall, 3-6′ wide. Male pollenizer is planted with berry-producing female to ensure production. These species are among the hardiest of hollies. Dense, mounding evergreen shrub. Partial-shade to shade.
Berri Magic China Holly (Ilex x meserveae ‘Mesdob’ & ‘Mesog) 10’ tall and wide. Male pollenizer China Boy is planted with China Girl to ensure berry production. Dense, mounding evergreen shrub. Partial shade to shade.

Berry Heavy Winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Spravy’)

6-7′ tall and wide. This large cultivar of a North American native produces tons of red berries on bare stems that stand out against the winter landscape. Berries are perfect for cut arrangements and supporting winter wildlife. Plant with Mr. Poppins winterberry for berry production. Partial sun to full sun.

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