Weston Logo

Memorial Day Update – All locations will be OPEN on Monday, May 27th normal business hours!

Berries for Fall Color and Wildlife

Berries for Fall Color and Wildlife

winterberry

Fall not only brings colorful foliage, it also provides additional interest through the fruit of various shrubs, much of which is also welcome food for birds and mammals. These plants have much to offer at this time of year, particularly if native plantings are sought.

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is a deciduous native holly best known for its red berries, which are a staple of winter holiday decor. Like all hollies, plants are male or female, and a male plant needs to be growing nearby for females to be pollinated and bear berries. Its native range is eastern North America, as far south as Florida, and it can often be seen growing in wetlands where it makes a large shrub up to 8 feet tall. As well as the straight species and similarly tall cultivars like the male Apollo and female Winter Red, there are several cultivars available for those wanting more compact plants. Look for male cultivars Jim Dandy and Mr. Poppins®, and female cultivars Red Sprite (Cary Award winner), and Berry Poppins®. For really compact plants try Little Goblin Red® or Little Goblin Orange®, which has orange rather than the traditional red berries.

Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) is another deciduous native shrub that provides winter interest with its fruit. Growing around 3-5’ tall and wide, it is tolerant of less than ideal conditions, being found at woodland edges or on disturbed ground. Hardy to USDA Zone 3, it is also deer resistant. It has pinkish-white, bell-shaped flowers in early summer which lead to clusters of white berries in fall. While the species will spread by suckers, cultivars do not spread and remain as compact bushes. As well as modifying growth habit, some cultivars offer berries in shades of pink, such as Pinky Promise™, which has clusters of candy pink fruit.

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is native to south-eastern U.S. although plants found in garden centers are generally cultivars of Asian species. Getting its common name from its brilliant bright purple berries, it also offers clusters of pale pink flowers in summer, which are popular with pollinators. While the foliage is usually green, turning yellow in fall, there are cultivars that have burgundy foliage to compliment the berries. It flowers on new growth, and to keep it compact and tidy at around 4-5’ tall it should be cut back to where strong new growth appears in spring. Early Amethyst’s berries ripen in September, while varieties such as Pearl Glam™ combine purple foliage and berries.

A couple of native viburnum that have colorful berries are American cranberry bush (Viburnum opulus var. americanum, formerly viburnum trilobum) and arrowwood viburnum (viburnum dentatum). As its name suggests, American cranberry bush has bright red berries, which are not only edible for wildlife, but in fact can be used in much the same way as true cranberries, having an equally tart taste. Hardy down to USDA Zone 2, it is a robust shrub capable of reaching 8’ tall, and makes a good informal hedge. As well as the straight species, look for the cultivar Wentworth. By contrast arrowwood viburnum produces blue-black berries but is similar to American cranberry bush in size and hardiness. Cultivars include Chicago Lustre, which has good fall foliage and Blue Muffin, which matures half the size of the species. If a good crop of arrowwood viburnum berries are required, please note that two genetically diverse plants of the same species are required, which means seed-grown species will work, but compatible cultivars need to be chosen. Chicago Lustre and Blue Muffin are compatible with each other.

With common names reflecting the color of their berries, both red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) and black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) are native shrubs that also provide attractive spring blooms, great autumnal color and food for wildlife. Red chokeberry is a suckering shrub, growing around 6-8’ tall and can make a dense thicket with time. The cultivar Brilliantissima,

enhances the native’s qualities of fruit and foliage, bringing increased color to an already attractive shrub. Black chokeberry is a smaller shrub that also has a suckering habit, although cultivars have been bred to eliminate this and enhance its ornamental qualities. Low Scape Hedger® as its name suggests is ideal for informal hedging, reaching 5 feet tall, while the smaller Low Scape Mound® makes for a colorful accent at the front of the border, being 2 feet tall.

These are some of the shrubs that offer additional interest in autumn, and grown in combination with native trees and perennials it is possible to make fall as colorful as spring and summer.

Sources:

https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/symphoricarpos-albus/

https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/callicarpa-dichotoma-x-kwangtungensis/

https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/viburnum-dentatum/

Share Via:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Print
WESTON NURSERIES

Weston Nurseries is committed to being a center for horticultural knowledge. Enjoy!

SEARCH TOPICS
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages
SHOP

Shops Trees, Shrubs, & Perennials – in stores and online.

EXPLORE MORE
PLANT CARE
SOCIAL
SEARCH BY MONTH
Archives
EVENTS & CLASSES

Online Shopping at Weston Nurseries

We are excited to offer two unique opportunities to shop online at Weston Nurseries.

Farm To Door™

WN Online Shopping icons_Ship to Door
Plants shipped directly to you!

Browse our online inventory for a huge selection of plants available to ship directly from the farm to your home! Anywhere in New England!*

Shop Our Garden Centers

WN Online Shopping icons-02
Great for large plants and larger orders!

Shop your local store for plants, garden supplies, soil, mulch and more. Then pick up your order at the garden center or arrange for local drop off!

If you are interested in ordering gift cards, please click here!
*Some restrictions may apply to certain states.

FLASH SALE

Memorial Day Weekend Flash Sale On Hydrangeas!

25% off all Hydrangeas this weekend only!

Saturday, May 25th – Monday, May 27th! 

Hydrangeas are a classic and beautiful sign of summer. Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend by sprucing up your yard with some new hydrangeas. Discount applies at all locations.

*Sale Fine Print:

For “Cash and Carry” transactions only. Offer good while supplies last.

No open orders or deliveries for future dates. All Flash Sale products must be taken the same day. Not valid on previous orders. No transfers allowed between stores on any sale items.

Skip to content