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Selecting Landscape Shrubs with Special Comments on Invasive and Native Plants

Publication Number: P2651
View as PDF: P2651.pdf

Shrubs are considered to be the “workhorses” of the landscape. Some people tend to think of shrubs as bland, green masses that fill landscape spaces, but there are thousands of varieties of shrubs, all with their own unique and interesting qualities. Shrubs come in every form and size imaginable. They exhibit a host of different leaf shapes and textures. Some display seasonal interest with prolific blooms, leaf color, bark texture, or fruit. With so many choices available, selecting the right shrub for your landscape can seem a little daunting.

Selecting the wrong plant can increase your maintenance chores through excessive pruning, extra watering, and additional spraying to control insects and diseases. Selecting the right plant can reduce these chores and increase the time you have to enjoy your landscape.

This publication will provide information to help you make the right shrub choices. Whether you are planning a new landscape or renovating an established one, this publication contains plant characteristics and cultural information on many kinds of shrubs that grow well in Mississippi.

What Is a Shrub?

For the purposes of this publication, a shrub is a woody plant with multiple stems or trunks that grows 20 feet tall or less when mature. There are, of course, exceptions to this definition. Obviously, some of the plants listed, under optimum conditions, may exceed 20 feet in height. Also, shrubs can be trained to a single trunk in some cases. Conversely, some trees can have multiple trunks. Common sense is the best guide to distinguish a shrub from other plant groups such as trees or ground covers.

Shrub Selection Checklist

When choosing a plant for your landscape, there are many things to consider. It is always better to evaluate your landscape situation before you go shopping, so you can fit the plant to the site rather than trying to change the site to fit the plant.

Use the checklist below to help you assess the landscape location where the shrub will be planted. Then select plants from the table that fit your particular landscape situation. Explanations of the topics follow the checklist.

  • Function or role
  • Height and width
  • Amount of light
  • Climatic zone
  • Soil conditions
    • Fertility needs
    • Soil pH
    • Light (sandy), medium, heavy (clay)
    • Available water (quality of drainage)
  • Form
  • Texture
  • Seasonal interest or color
  • Risk analysis

Function or Role

Determine what function or role the shrub will have in your landscape. For example, do you need a low evergreen shrub to go around the base of your deck? Or do you need a shrub that could screen an unsightly view? Maybe you need a shrub to accent the entrance to the driveway. Common examples of functions or roles that shrubs play in our landscapes include:

  • Foundation plants (Figure 1)
  • Hedge, screen, and background plants (Figures 1 and 2)
  • Energy conservation, which includes managing wind, heat, and cold (Figure 3)
  • Erosion control
  • Container plants (Figure 4)
  • Border and edging plants (Figures 1 and 2)
  • Specimen plants
  • Accent plants (Figure 1)
  • Sound barriers (Figure 2)
  • Wildlife habitats (Figures 1 and 2)
Color drawing of a house with extensive landscaping, including shrubs, flowers, and trees.
Figure 1. Shrubs have many roles in this home’s front landscape. They are used extensively in the foundation planting around the base of the home. They create a background for other plantings and provide a screen or barrier along the property lines. Low-growing shrubs are used to edge the landscape beds in front of the garage. The two shrubs at the entrance of the driveway provide an accent for this area. Shrubs also are used to provide a haven to attract wildlife to the bird bath to the right of the home.
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Figure 2. This backyard landscape illustrates many of the uses of shrubs, including background, screen, wildlife habitat, edging, and accent plantings. The large hedge along the left side of the driveway serves as a sound barrier as well as a screen.
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Figure 3. The aerial view of the landscape depicted in Figures 1 and 2 shows how shrubs can be placed around the property to conserve energy by buffering the effects of winter wind and summer sun. Shrubs also can be used to direct summer breezes and allow winter sun to reach the home.
Line drawing of three identical potted small trees.
Figure 4. Container plants.

Height and Width

Knowing the mature size of a plant is very important. Size includes not just height, but also the mature spread or width of the shrub. Both should be considered before choosing a shrub for a particular location in the landscape. Choosing a plant that will become too large for the space available is a common mistake homeowners make. Problems arise later as the plant outgrows its location and blocks walkways, driveways, or windows.

Light

It is important that you know the light conditions of the different areas where you will be placing shrubs. Choose plants that grow well in those light conditions.

Full sun is at least 6–8 hours of direct sunlight. For sunny areas, choose plants that require full sunlight to grow.

Full shade areas receive no direct sunlight. In these areas, the shade could be the result of trees, buildings, or other structures. Filtered shade refers to the shade provided by a thin canopy of trees that results in filtered or “spotted” areas of light on the forest floor. Choose plants that grow in shade for these areas.

Part sun areas receive direct sunlight for at least half of the day. Fitting plants to this type of light situation can be challenging. Some shade plants will tolerate full sun in the morning if given afternoon shade. Some sun plants will grow fine in situations of some early morning or late afternoon shade. Refer to the comments section of the plant table for further information on specific light references for plants in this light category.

Climatic Zone

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has categorized the climates of the United States, Canada, and Mexico into numbered zones based on average low winter temperatures. The zone numbers range from 1 to 11. Each decrease in a zone number means the average low winter temperature is 10 degrees colder. The map in Figure 5 shows the USDA zones for Mississippi. All of Mississippi is within Plant Hardiness Zones 7 and 8. These are the average low winter temperature ranges for each zone and sub-zone:

Zone

°F Range

7

10–0

7a

5–0

7b

10–5

8

20–10

8a

15–10

8b

20–15

Figure 5. Zones of plant cold-hardiness for Mississippi. See plantmaps.com for an interactive plant cold-hardiness map and a list of Mississippi cities/towns and their zones.

Remember that a plant hardiness rating does not guarantee a plant’s ability to grow well in an area. For example, plants suited to drier areas of the southwestern United States in Zone 7 may withstand the winter temperatures in Mississippi, but they may not grow well because of diseases associated with our higher humidity. A plant’s hardiness zone rating ONLY indicates its ability to withstand a certain winter low temperature.

Soil Conditions

Determine the fertility needs of the planting site before selecting plants or planting. Take a representative soil sample of the area being planted and submit it to the MSU Soil Testing Laboratory for analysis. Remember: it is much easier to choose a plant to fit your soil conditions than to change the soil conditions to fit the plant.

The soil analysis will also include a pH level, or measure of the alkalinity or acidity of the soil. Plants will grow best within certain pH ranges, so selection of plant material depends on pH (unless you can amend the planting site). Soil pH affects the availability of plant nutrients. Azaleas, camellias, and hollies are examples of acid-loving plants. Examples of shrubs that will grow in alkaline soils are barberry, deutzia, and elaeagnus. Table 1 includes a column that contains the pH range of specific plants.

Soils can be described as light (sandy), medium, or heavy (clay). Medium soils are best for proper growth of most landscape plants. Sandy or clay soils can be amended with organic matter to improve the water-retaining qualities of sandy soils and the drainage of clay soils, making these soils more conducive to plant growth. Adequate soil drainage is important for the growth of most plants. However, some plants like drier conditions and some plants like wetter conditions (bog or aquatic plants). Comments on soil requirements or tolerances have been made for many of the plants in Table 1.

Form

Form is the shape of the plant. Make sure the plant will fit into the required space and that its form complements the surrounding plantings or area. See Figure 6 for examples of plant forms.

Spirea: large horizontal oval; barberry: small horizontal oval; rose of sharon: vertical oval that is smaller at the bottom; mockorange: vertical oval; savin juniper: rectangle that is smaller at the bottom; creeping juniper: long, short rectangle; andorra juniper: rectangle; dwarf winged euonymus: horizontal oval; globe arborvitae: round; oregongrape: vertical oval; japanese yew: triangle.
Figure 6. Examples of plant form.

Texture

Texture refers to the fineness or coarseness of plants. For example, large-leaved shrubs, as a rule, are considered coarse-textured. Examples include aucuba, fatsia, and bigleaf hydrangea. Fine-textured plants include falsecypress, arborvitae, and any of the junipers. In most cases, plants with fine textures should be used in greater numbers in the landscape than plants with coarse textures.

Seasonal Interest or Color

These are the characteristics of the plant that contribute to its overall appeal. Special physical features that make the plant attractive through the seasons could include fruit, flowers, foliage color, bark, or branching structure. The comments section of Table 1 includes information on seasonal interest or color.

Risk Analysis

When choosing plants, it pays to determine the risks the plant could bring to your landscape. Take the following into consideration when choosing plants:

  • Does it attract stinging insects like bees or wasps?
  • Does it produce messy fruit or other plant parts in the landscape?
  • Does it produce fruit that may cause slipping, particularly on walkways?
  • Does it produce thorns, spines, or prickles that can cause harm?
  • Are leaves sharply pointed, which may cause harm?
  • Is it poisonous to children or pets?
  • Does it cause allergies?
  • Does it have aggressive growth characteristics that crowd out its neighbors?
  • Is it invasive?

Eradication of invasive plants costs millions of dollars every year in the United States. A number of plants can be invasive in landscapes. An invasive plant species by federal definition must be exotic and have a negative economic or health impact. Invasive plant species can increase maintenance costs and cause problems in surrounding landscapes. Some invasive plants and potential alternatives are offered in Table 2.

Avoid invasive species whenever possible. Keep in mind that some invasive plants are regulated and illegal to move into the landscape. Remember that invasive plants in one area may not be invasive in another. The comments column in Table 1 provides cautionary statements about invasive or potentially invasive plants. Before purchasing plants, be informed about which species are invasive in your area. In addition, new species can escape cultivation.

Some gardeners may prefer native plants instead of exotic or invasive species. Native species are noted in Table 1 of this publication. However, remember that some native species also can be aggressive in the landscape. Despite occasional problems, choosing a native plant could amount to savings in plant purchases and preservation of natural resources, as well. The comments section also offers other information concerning the risk factors for plants.

Shopping Tips

Local vs. Online

Plant shopping at your local nursery, garden center, or online can be an exciting but sometimes confusing experience. Always check your favorite nursery or garden center first to see if you can buy the plants locally. You will usually be able to buy a larger plant for your money than you could if purchasing the same plant online. Also, you have the benefit of talking to a real person and seeing and inspecting the real plant. The only downside of shopping locally is the variety of plants offered may be less than what you could order online. If you have found a plant online that you can’t find locally, request that your nursery or garden center order the plant for you before ordering online.

Container vs. No Container

Plants come in various “packages” (Figure 7). Shrubs are typically sold in containers or pots of various sizes. These can range from small containers measured in inches to large containers measured in gallons. Large shrubs can also be sold ball and burlapped, more commonly referred to as B and B. These plants’ roots with attached soil are wrapped in burlap or a similar material. Plants also can be bare-root and packaged in boxes, paper, or plastic wrapping. Roses can be offered for sale bare-root. Obviously, those plants with roots surrounded by soil have a higher survival rate than those offered bare-root. Bare-root plants can, however, be cheaper, and if you handle them properly, can be a very good choice.

Three plants in different packaging: container, balled and burlapped, and bare root wrapped in foil.
Figure 7. Plants are sold in various packages.

Small Plants vs. Large Plants

Remember that small container plants will grow and are less expensive than large container plants of the same type. So if cost is a consideration and you have the patience, purchasing smaller containers is more economical. If you want the space filled sooner and a more established look to your landscape, and you can afford the extra cost, by all means purchase a more mature plant in a larger container.

Low Maintenance vs. High Maintenance

We all want more leisure time, so it is important to select a plant that doesn’t require too much maintenance in terms of pruning, spraying, watering, and disease and insect management. It is worth the extra effort to learn about the requirements of your selection before you make your purchase. Talk with nursery workers and gardening neighbors, or consult other resources.

Shop for Quality!

Always inspect your plant selection for signs of insect or disease damage. Make sure the plant shows no signs of mechanical damage to the bark or branches. Mechanical damage is caused by machinery or rough handling of the plant.

Select shrubs that have a good framework of strong branches. Look for plants with healthy green foliage and a full canopy. If it is a deciduous shrub purchased while dormant, look for an overall good branching structure. Avoid plants that have exposed roots circling the top of the pot or protruding from the pot’s drainage holes. These plants are root-bound and indicate they have been held too long in the same pot (Figure 8).

Two small trees in containers. One has roots protruding from the bottom of the container and one has roots encircling the soil.
Figure 8. Avoid root-bound, overgrown plants.

Protecting Plants until Planting Time

It is always better to have your planting area prepared before you bring home your plants so you can get them immediately into the ground. If this is not the case, you will need to provide a temporary holding area (Figure 9) to protect the plants until planting can occur. Do not allow plants to dry out; maintaining adequate moisture is very important. The holding area should be in an accessible area for easy watering. Also make sure the area is partially shaded and protected from drying winds. Check the plants daily to make sure the roots are kept moist.

Two line drawings of plants in the shade. In one, the plants are still in their containers, and in the other, they are under a large tree and have mulch piled at their bases.
Figure 9. Protect plants before planting by shading them and mulching the roots in sawdust or another suitable material.

If it will be more than 3 or 4 days before you can plant, provide additional protection. Group the plants close together and mulch around the packaging (container, B and B, bare-root) with compost, pine needles, or shredded pine bark to keep the roots moist until planting. If the plant is bare-root, be sure to open the packaging to make sure the roots are moist before covering with mulch.

The following tables list ornamental landscape shrubs by height group and scientific name with information on foliage type, hardiness zone, plant height and width, plant spacing, pH range, and nativity for each, along with special comments.

TABLE 1a. Ornamental landscape shrubs by height group: Small Shrubs — Evergreen — Less than 5 feet

Common Name

Scientific Name

Foliage1

Zones

Light2

Height

Width

Spacing

pH range

Native3

Comments

Compact Abelia

Abelia x grandiflora ‘Prostrata’

SE

6–9

F

1.5’–2’

1.5’–2’

2’–3’

6.0–8.0

 

Flowers on new wood. Tolerates city conditions well. May have several blooming cycles. Attracts bees. Medium-fast growth rate.

Edward Goucher Glossy Abelia

Abelia x grandiflora ‘Edward Goucher’

SE

6–9

F–S

3’–5’

3’–5’

4’–6’

6.0–8.0

 

Flowers on new growth. Tolerates city conditions well. May have several blooming cycles per season. Has slender arching branches. Attracts bees. Medium-fast growth rate.

Coral Ardisia

Ardisia crenata

BE

8–10

P–S

2’–4’

2’–4’

1–2’

5.0–7.0

 

Reseeds itself freely where adequate mulch is provided; invasive in Florida. Will not tolerate full sun. Medium-slow growth rate.

Black Chokeberry

Aronia melanocarpa

D

3–8

F–P

3’–5’

3’–5’

3’–5’

5.5–7.0

X

Similar to red chokeberry, but forms colonies from root suckers and fruit are purplish black. Growth rate is slow, but once established suckers can grow fast.

Dwarf Aucuba

Aucuba japonica ‘Nana’

BE

7–10

S

3’–5’

3’–5’

2’–3’

5.5–7.0

 

See Japanese Aucuba. Medium-fast growth rate.

Black Barberry

Berberis gagnepaini

BE

6–9

F–P

3.5’–5’

4’–6’

3’–4’

6.0–8.0

 

Flowers grown on old wood. Can be used for bonsai. Medium growth rate.

Crimson Pygmy Japanese Barberry

Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea ‘Crimson Pygmy’

D

4–8

F

1.5’–2’

2.5’–3’

2–3’

6.0–8.0

 

Redleaved dwarf form. Medium growth rate.

Rose Glow Japanese Barberry

Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea ‘Rose Glow’

D

4–8

F

~5’

~5’

2’–3’

6.0–8.0

 

Best color in full sun. More green as shade increases. Good for city conditions. Dwarf forms available. Medium growth rate.

Redleaf Japanese Barberry

Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea

D

4–8

F

~5’

~5’

3’–4’

6.0–8.0

 

Will not retain red leaf color in deep shade. Good for city conditions. Medium growth rate. Numerous varieties available. Invasive in northeast United States.

Golden Japanese Barberry

Berberis thunbergii ‘Aurea’

D

3–8

F

3’–5’

3’–5’

3’–4’

6.0–8.0

 

Bright yellow leaves in full sun. Several other yellow varieties developed. Medium growth rate.

Harland’s Boxwood

Buxus harlandii

BE

6–8

F–P

2’–3’

2’–3’

1’–2’

6.0–7.5

 

Shallow roots require mulch. Prefers rich, well-drained soils. Medium growth rate.

Japanese Littleleaf Boxwood

Buxus microphylla japonica

BE

6–9

F–P

3’–5’

3’–4’

2’–3’

6.0–7.5

 

More upright in form. Very fast grower. Medium growth rate.

Korean Boxwood

Buxus microphylla koreana

BE

5–9

F–P

2’–2.5’

2’–2.5’

1’–2’

6.0–7.5

 

Very small and compact. Medium growth rate.

Richard’s Boxwood

Buxus microphylla ‘Richardii’

BE

6–9

F–P

3’–6’

3’–4’

1’–2’

6.0–7.5

 

Very fast grower. Medium growth rate.

Wintergreen Korean Boxwood

Buxus microphylla ‘Wintergreen’

BE

6–9

F–P

3’–5’

3’–4’

2’–3’

6.0–7.5

 

Foliage light green. Larger than Korean and ‘Winter Gem’ Korean box. Medium growth rate.

Purple Beautyberry

Callicarpa dichotoma

D

5–8

F–P

3’–4’

4’–5’

2’–3’

6.0–8.0

 

Similar to American Beautyberry but smaller in all respects. Fast growth rate.

Compact Scarlet Bottlebrush

Callistemon citrinus ‘Compacta’

BE

8–11

F

~4’

~4’

3’–4’

6.0–7.5

 

May be killed by severe winters. Flower clusters in form of a bottle brush. Tolerant of salt spray. Can withstand drought. Medium growth rate.

Bluebeard

Caryopteris x clandonensis

SE

6–9

F

2’–3’

2’–3’

2’–3’

6.0–8.0

 

Will tolerate some shade. Gray foliage with blue flowers typical, but also gold leaf forms. Small shrub with medium growth rate.

Common Bluebeard

Caryopteris incana

SE

6–9

F

3’–5’

3’–5’

3’–4’

6.0–8.0

 

Blue or white cultivars, as well as gold leaf forms. Small shrub with medium growth rate.

New Jersey Tea

Ceanothus americanus

SE

4–8

F–S

3’–4’

3’–5’

2’–3’

5.5–7.0

X

Flowers not showy, but related to many western native species with showy flowers. Drought-tolerant. Slow to medium growth rate.

Dwarf Hinoki Falsecypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana’

NE

4–8

F–P

2’

3.5’

2’–3’

5.0–6.0

 

Branchlets may be slightly orange-brown in summer. Not tolerant of air pollution. Variegated forms available. Slow growth rate.

Compact Atlantic Whitecedar

Chamaecyparis thyoides ‘Compacta’

NE

3–9

F–P

~2’

~2’

2’–3’

5.5–6.5

X

Dwarf form. Many cultivars. Wild forms grow to be large trees. Wetland species. Slow growth rate.

Goldentwig Dogwood

Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’

D

3–8

F–P

7’–9’

7’–9’

3’–4’

6.0–8.0

 

Yellow twigs all year. Showy in winter. Good for contrast against dark structures. Spreads rapidly. Good for moist, well-drained soils. Medium growth rate.

Creeping Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster adpressus

SE

4–8

F–P

1’–1.5’

4’–6’

2–3’

6.0–7.0

 

One of the slower growing dwarf cotoneasters. Needs well-drained soils. Medium growth rate.

Cranberry Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster apiculatus

SE

4–7

F

~3’

3’–6’

3’–4’

5.5–8.0

 

Low-growing with showy red fruit in fall. Can be used as a ground cover. Slow growth rate.

Bearberry Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster dammeri

BE

5–7

F

1’–1.5’

~6’

3’–4’

6.0–7.0

 

One of the best ground covers for moist soils. Frequently roots along the stems. Several cultivars. Medium growth rate.

Rock Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster horizontalis

SE

5–7

F

2’–3’

5’–8’

3’–8’

6.0–7.0

 

Low-growing with showy red fruit in fall. Can be used as a ground cover. Slow growth rate.

Dwarf Globe Japanese Cryptomeria

Cryptomeria japonica ‘Globosa Nana’

NE

5–8

F

2’–3’

2.5’–3.5’

3’–4’

6.0–7.0

 

Dwarf form of the much larger Cryptomeria. Other dwarf forms are available. Slow growth rate.

Alexandrian–laurel

Danae racemosa

BE

7–9

S

2’–4’

2’–4’

2’–4’

6.0–7.0

 

Compact shrub with showy red fruit. Slow growth rate.

Rose Daphne

Daphne cneorum

BE

5–7

S

0.5’–1’

1’–2’

1’–3’

6.5–8.0

 

Compact shrub with very fragrant flowers. A few cultivars with white to pink flowers or varigated foliage. Needs well-drained soils. Slow growth rate.

Winter Daphne

Daphne odora

BE

7–9

S

3’–4’

3’–4’

3’–5’

5.0–7.0

 

Compact shrub with very fragrant flowers. A few cultivars with white to pink flowers or varigated foliage. Slow growth rate.

Slender Deutzia

Deutzia gracilis

D

4–8

F–P

2’–4’

3’–4’

3’–5’

6.0–7.0

 

Compact shrub with white spring flowers. Slow to medium growth rate.

Southern Bush–honeysuckle

Diervilla sessilifolia

D

4–7

F–P

3’–5’

3’–5’

3’–5’

6.0–7.0

X

Mountain native. Usually found on cliff ledges. Yellow spring flowers. Medium growth rate.

Paperbush

Edgeworthia papyrifera

D

7–9

F–P

3’–4’

3’–4’

3’–4’

5.5–7.0

 

Unusual. Produces fragrant, cream-yellow flowers in early spring. Slow growth rate.

Coral–bean

Erythrina herbacea

D

7–10

F–P

3’–5’

3’–5’

4’–6’

5.5–7.0

X

Bright red tubular flowers in clusters. Winter kills to ground in colder weather. Seed red and toxic (as is plant). Growth rate is fast for suckers on established plant.

Pulchellus Japanese Euonymus

Euonymus japonicus ‘Microphyllus’

BE

5–9

F–P

4’–6’

2’–3’

2’–3’

6.0–8.0

 

Used as a substitute for boxwood. Variegated leaf form available. Medium-fast growth rate.

Tree Ivy or Fatshedera

Fatshedera lizei

BE

7–10

P

3’–5’

3’–5’

2’–3’

6.0–7.0

 

A bi-generic cross between Hedera and Fatsia. Not self supporting. Severe winters will burn foliage. Lower stems tend to be bare. Growth rate is medium fast.

Dwarf Fothergilla

Fothergilla gardnerii

D

5–8

F–P

2’–3’

2’–3’

2’–3’

5.5–7.5

X

Several cultivars available. Related to Witchhazel, but shorter. Slow growth rate.

Dwarf Gardenia

Gardenia radicans

BE

8–10

F–S

2’–3’

3’–4’

2’–3’

5.5–6.0

 

Can survive most winters in 7b. Has a larger number of pests. Chlorosis common problem due to lack of iron. Sensitive to poor drainage and heavy soils. Medium growth rate.

Smooth Hydrangea

Hydrangea arborescens

D

4–9

F–S

3’–5’

3’–5’

3’–5’

6.0–8.0

X

Native woodland shrub that typically grows on higher pH soil. Flowers not as showy as Biglead Hydrangea. Fast growth rate.

Bigleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla

D

6–9

P–S

3’–6’

3’–6’

3’–5’

5.0–7.5

 

Acid (pH 5.0-5.7) soils produce blue flowers; more alkaline (pH 6.0 and above) soils produce pink flowers. Flowers on 1-year-old wood. Prune only stems that have flowered. Medium-fast growth rate.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia

D

5–9

P–S

4’–6’

4’–6’

3’–4’

6.0–8.0

X

Sensitive to heavy, poorly drained soils. Flowers few in dense shade. Relatively short lived. Medium growth rate.

Serrate Hydrangea

Hydrangea serrata

D

6–7

F–P

4’–5’

4’–5’

3’–5’

5.0–6.5

 

Similar to Hydrangea macrophylla. A few cultivars with flower color from pink to blue. Medium growth rate.

Golden St. Johnwort

Hypericum frondosum

D

5–8

F–P

3’–4’

3’–4’

3’–4’

6.0–7.0

X

Showy yellow blooms. There are several native species of Hypericum. Slow growth rate.

Carissa Chinese Holly

Ilex cornuta ‘Carissa’

BE

7–9

F–P

3’–4’

4’–6’

3’–4’

5.0–6.5

 

A sport of Rotunda Chinese Holly. A recent introduction. Medium growth rate.

Rotunda Chinese Holly

Ilex cornuta ‘Rotunda’

BE

6–9

F–P

3’–4’

6’–8’

3’–4’

6.0–7.0

 

Difficult to tell from Spreading Chinese Holly except lower-growing, denser foliage. Rarely has fruit. Medium growth rate.

Compact Japanese Holly

Ilex crenata ‘Compacta’

BE

5–7

F–P

~6’

~6’

3’–4’

6.0–7.0

 

Both surface and internal drainage must be good for this plant to thrive. Old specimens have interesting irregular forms. Medium growth rate.

Heller Japanese Holly

Ilex crenata ‘Helleri’

BE

5–7

P

4’–5’

4’–5’

2’–3’

5.0–6.5

 

Difficult to transplant. Fruit occurs on new wood. Responds to shearing. Medium growth rate.

Dwarf Yaupon Holly

Ilex vomitoria ‘Nana’

D

7–10

F–S

3’–5’

3’–5’

3’–5’

6.0–8.0

X

Berries, when produced, are red. Tolerates city conditions and shearing well. Medium growth rate.

Indigo

Indigofera amblyantha

D

7–9

F

4’–6’

4’–6’

4’–6’

5.5–7.0

 

Fine textured leaves and clusters of small pink flowers. Legume. Medium growth rate.

Kirilow Indigo

Indigofera kirilowii

D

5–8

F

2’–3’

1’–2’

2’–3’

6.0–7.0

 

Fine textured leaves and clusters of small pink flowers. Legume. Forms a colony and can be invasive. Medium growth rate.

Virginia Sweetspire

Itea virginica

D

5–9

F–P

3’–5’

3’–5’

3’–5’

5.5–7.0

X

Grows in wetlands, but often planted on drier sites. Colonial from roots. A few cultivars. Medium to fast growth rate.

Showy Jasmine

Jasminum floridum

SE

7–10

F–P

3’–4’

4’–7’

3’–5’

6.0–8.0

 

Branches have tendency to climb like a vine if support is nearby. Little maintenance. Mulch plantings heavily, since plants do not compete well with weeds. Semi-evergreen in north and central Mississippi. Medium growth rate.

Winter Jasmine

Jasminum nudiflorum

SE

6–10

F–P

3’–5’

3’–5’

3’–5’

6.0–8.0

 

Drought tolerant. Very little maintenance. Best in sun. Leaves may fall in early spring. Green stems. Excellent for top of retaining walls where branches can cascade over the wall. Medium growth rate.

Blue Vase Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Vase’

NE

4–9

F

4’–5’

3’–4’

4’–6’

6.0–8.0

 

Should not be planted in confined areas because of large size and fast growth. Will withstand most adverse growing conditions except poorly drained soil. Medium growth rate.

Pfitzer Chinese Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘Pfitzeriana’

NE

4–9

F

4’–5’

8’–10’

6’–10’

6.0–8.0

 

Tolerates city conditions well. Prefers moist soils but will withstand dry ones. Soil must be well-drained. Tolerant of alkaline soils. Medium growth rate.

Pfitzer Chinese Juniper ‘Pfitzeriana Aurea’

Juniperus chinensis

NE

4–9

F

4’–5’

8’–10’

6’–10’

6.0–8.0

 

Gold form of ‘Pfitzeriana.’ Prefers moist soils but will withstand dry ones. Soil must be well-drained. Tolerant of alkaline soils. Medium growth rate.

Nick’s Compact Pfitzer Juniper ‘Pfitzeriana Compacta’

Juniperus chinensis

NE

4–9

F

12"–18"

6’

5’–8’

6.0–8.0

 

Needles more awl-shaped than Pfitzer Juniper. Medium growth rate.

Golden Pfitzer Juniper ‘Pfitzeriana Gold Lace’

Juniperus chinensis

NE

4–9

F

4’–5’

5’–6’

4’–5’

6.0–8.0

 

Slightly smaller gold form of ‘Pfitzeriana.’ Very decorative. Tolerant of city conditions. Will withstand drought but prefers moist, well-drained soils. Tolerates alkaline soils. Medium-fast growth rate.

San Jose Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘San Jose’

NE

4–9

F

12"–18"

6’–8’

4’–6’

6.0–8.0

 

Branches lie flat on the ground. Exhibits both juvenile and mature needles. Has been a popular prostrate juniper for many years. Medium-fast growth rate.

Japanese Garden Juniper

Juniperus procumbens

NE

4–8

F

8"–12"

10’–15’

5’–8’

5.0–7.0

 

Coarse, stiff branches. Dense growth habit. Medium-fast growth rate.

Variegated Japanese Garden Juniper

Juniperus procumbens ‘Variegata’

NE

4–8

F

8"–12"

10’–15’

5’–8’

5.0–7.0

 

See Japanese Garden Juniper. This form has blue-green foliage with creamy white blotches. Medium growth rate.

Broadmoor Juniper

Juniperus sabina ‘Broadmoor’

NE

5–7

F

2’–3’

10’

2’–3’

6.0–7.0

 

Excellent juniper for ground cover for large areas. Medium growth rate.

Tamarix Juniper

Juniperus sabina ‘Tamariscifolia’

NE

4–7

F

~18"

10’–15’

3’–4’

6.0–7.0

 

Excellent juniper for ground cover for large areas. Sensitive to poorly drained soils. Medium growth rate.

Grey Owl Eastern Redcedar

Juniperus virginiana ‘Grey Owl’

NE

2–9

F

~3

~6’

4’–6’

6.0–7.0

 

Possible hybrid with J. chinensis ‘Pfitzeriana.’ Nice silver-gray foliage. Medium growth rate.

Dwarf Crapemyrtle

Lagerstroemia indica and hybrids

D

7–9

F

2’–5’

2’–4’

2’–4’

5.0–6.0

 

Very shrubby in 6b. Many cultivars with a range of characteristics like flower color. See Extension Publication 2007 Crapemyrtle: Flower of the South.

Common Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia

BE

5–8

F

1’–2’

1’–2’

1’–2’

6.0–7.0

 

Herbal with aromatic foliage. Grayish foliage with typically purple flowers. Other, less hardy species available. Slow growth rate.

Dog–hobble

Leucothoe axillaris

BE

5–8

P–S

3’–6’

3’–6’

2’–6’

5.5–7.0

X

Also called coast leucothoe and native to the southeast, particularly low areas. Several cultivars. Slow to medium growth rate.

Drooping Leucothoe

Leucothoe fontanesiana

BE

5–9

P–S

3’–6’

3’–6’

2’–6’

5.5–7.0

X

Native to the Apalachian Mountains. Several cultivars. Slow to medium growth rate.

Pheasant–eye

Leycesteria formosa

SE

7–9

P–S

3’–5’

3’–5’

3’–5’

6.0–7.0

 

Stems typically green; flowers purple in racemes. Medium growth rate.

Fetterbush Lyonia

Lyonia lucida

BE

7–9

P–S

3’–5’

3’–5’

3’–5’

5.5–7.0

X

Coastal plain native with racemes of pinkish white flowers. Slow to medium growth rate.

Oregon Grape Mahonia

Mahonia aquifolium

BE

5–7

F–S

3’–6’

3’–5’

2’–3’

6.0–8.0

 

Remove older branches each year to encourage low, dense form. Plant increases in size by underground rhizomes. Medium to fast growth rate.

Leatherleaf Mahonia

Mahonia bealei

BE

6–9

P–S

6’–10’

6’–10’

2’–3’

6.0–8.0

 

Plant blends well with rich browns of brick and woodwork. Remove one-third of tallest canes each spring. Does well on north sides of buildings. Medium growth rate.

Chinese Mahonia

Mahonia fortunei

BE

7–9

P–S

5’–6’

5’–6’

3’–4’

6.0–8.0

 

Fruit less showy than other mahonias. Will withstand more sun than other mahonias. Slowly spreads by underground rhizomes. Easily pruned to maintain natural form. Slow growth rate.

Dwarf Southern Waxmyrtle

Myrica cerifera var. pumila

BE

7–11

F–P

3’–4’

4’–10’

3’–4’

5.0–7.0

X

Sometimes found in southern MS in dunes. Other dwarfs include ‘Fairfax’ (4–5 feet), ‘Club Med’ (3–4 feet), ‘Georgia Gem’ (12–18 inches tall by 3 feet wide), plus a few others. Growth rate is typically slower compared to the standard form.

Compact/Dwarf Nandina

Nandina domestica (dwarfs)

BE

6–9

F–P

4’–5’

4’–5’

1’–2’

5.5–7.0

 

‘Compacta’ and ‘Harbour Dwarf,’ low-growing, dense form of common nandina; ‘Nana,’ minimal fruit production, smaller than Compact Nandina, slow growth rate; ‘Nana Purpurea’ similar to ‘Nana,’ but foliage is purple-green.

Alabama Snow–wreath

Neviusia alabamensis

D

4–8

P–S

3’–6’

3’–6’

3’–6’

6.5–7.0

X

Rare in wild, but similar to Spirea. Spreads to form colonies. Nice native shrub. Medium growth rate.

Dwarf Flowering Pomegranate

Punica granatum ‘Nana’

SE

7–11

F–P

~18"

3–4’

3’–4’

5.5–7.0

 

Leaves narrow and small. Single orange-red flower during summer. Slow growth rate.

Variegated Dwarf Firethorn

Pyracantha ‘Harlequin’

SE

8–9

F

~6’

~6’

3’–5’

6.0–8.0

 

May be pruned to keep in bounds. Leaves green with a creamy white margin that turns pinkish with cold weather. May reach up to 6–10 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Slow growth rate.

Indian Hawthorn

Raphiolepis indica

BE

8–10

F–P

4’–6’

4’–6’

3’–4’

5.5–7.0

 

Many cultivars to select from. ‘Ballerina’ is most dwarf with deep pink flowers; ‘Pink Cloud’ is medium in height with light pink flowers; ‘Jack Evans’ has compact growth and double pink flowers; ‘Springtime’ is medium to large among Indian hawthorns. Medium-fast growth rate.

Gable Hybrid Azalea

Rhododendron ‘Gable’

BE

5–8

F–P

2’–4’

2’–4’

2’–4’

5.5–7.0

 

Many hybrids in many colors. ‘Blaauw's Pink,’ double, mid-season, is one example. Evergreen. Medium growth rate.

Glen Dale Hybrid Azalea

Rhododendron ‘Glenn Dale’

BE

7–8

P–S

3’–6’

3’–6’

3’–4’

5.0–6.0

 

Developed at U.S. Plant Introduction Station, Glenn Dale, MD. Some selections are ‘Buccaneer’ (orange-red with dark blotch), ‘Copperman’ (brilliant orange), ‘Evensong’ (rose flowers), ‘Fashion’ (orange-pink flowers), ‘Glacier’ (white with chartreuse throat). Medium growth rate.

Kurume Azalea

Rhododendron obtusum japonicum

BE

6–7

P–S

3’–6’

3’–6’

3’–4’

5.0–6.0

 

Popular hybrid azalea. Some selections include ‘Coral Bells’ (coral flowers, midseason), ‘Christmas Cheer’ (red, early to midseason), ‘Hinodegiri’ (scarlet, midseason), ‘Snow’ (white, midseason), ‘Hexe’ (deep red, midseason), ‘Bridesmaid’ (salmon late season). Medium-slow growth rate.

Black Jetbead

Rhodotypos scandens

D

4–8

F–S

3’–6’

4’–9’

3’–5’

5.5–7.0

 

Can form colonies and can be somewhat invasive. Flowers white in spring followed by black shiny fruit. Medium to fast growth rate.

Fragrant Sumac

Rhus aromatica

D

3–9

F–P

2’–6’

6’–10’

3’–5’

6.5–8.0

X

Native, generally on higher pH soils. Small yellow flower followed by red fruit. Slow to medium growth rate.

Carolina Rose

Rosa carolina

SE

4–9

F–P

3’–6’

3’–6’

3’–5’

6.0–7.0

X

Pink, fragrant flowers from June to July. Suckers freely, so may require some maintenance. Medium to fast growth rate.

Hybrid Roses

Rosa hybrida

V

7–9

F

1’–5’

1’–5’

3’–6’

6.0–7.0

 

Numerous hybrids. Some may exceed 5 feet. Hardiness variable. In general, hybrid teas have large, pointed buds and long stems; floribundas have medium-sized flowers in flat-topped clusters; heavy-bloomers polyanthas have large flower clusters with individual flowers that are smaller than floribundas; and grandifloras have long-stemmed flowers. Fast growth rate.

Rugose Rose

Rosa rugosa

D

2–7

F

4’–6’

4’–6’

3’–4’

6.0–7.0

 

Good for exposed, windy sites. Can spread up to 15 feet in a few years. Suckers freely and can be invasive. Roots easily. Fast growth rate.

Prairie Rose

Rosa setigera

D

4–9

F

3’–4’

3’–15’

3’–15’

6.0–7.0

X

Flowers are pink to white from June to July. Can be difficult to maintain. Fast growth rate.

Scotch Rose

Rosa spinosissima

D

4–8

F

3’–4’

3’–4’

3’–4’

6.0–7.0

 

Flowers are white and pink to yellow from May to June. Can be invasive. Medium to fast growth rate.

Virginia Rose

Rosa virginiana

D

3–7

F

4’–6’

4’–6’

3’–5’

6.0–7.0

X

Pink flowers in June. Suckers freely, so may require some maintenance. Medium to fast growth rate.

Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis

BE

7–9

F

2’–4’

2’–4’

2’–3’

5.5–6.5

 

Favorite in old gardens. Foliage has favorable scent. May be killed by severe winter freezes. Has been used as ground cover in drier soils. Some cultivars available: ‘Prostratus’ (low, spreading form), ‘Albus’ (with white flowers), ‘Tuscan Blue’ (upright with blue flowers). Medium growth rate.

Butcher’s Broom

Ruscus aculeatus

BE

7–9

P–S

1.5’–3’

1.5’–3’

1.5’–3’

5.5–6.5

 

Evergreen that does well in shade. Red fruit ripen in the fall. Slow growth rate.

Himalayan Sarcococca

Sarcococca hookeriana

BE

7–9

P–S

4’–6’

4’–6’

3’–5’

5.5–6.5

 

Dense evergreen for moist, acid, high organic soils. Can form colonies from suckers. Other species are also available, but none are common. Slow to medium growth rate.

Variegated Serissa

Serissa foetida ‘Yellowrim’

BE

7–9

F–P

3’–4’

3’–4’

2’–3’

5.5–6.5

 

Leaves green with yellow margins. Requires frequent pruning to maintain dense growth. Foliage variegation best in full sun. Has several flowering phases during warm months. Medium growth rate.

Japanese Skimmia

Skimmia japonica

BE

7–9

P–S

3’–4’

3’–4’

2’–3’

5.5–6.5

 

Small evergreen with fragrant, creamy white flowers. Some varieties and species available, but not common. Can be difficult to grow. Slow growth rate.

Anthony Waterer Spirea Waterer Spirea

Spiraea x bumalda ‘Anthony Waterer’

D

4–8

F–P

3’–4’

4’–5’

2’–3’

6.0–7.0

 

Prune in spring if needed. Excellent summer color. Fast growth rate.

Gold Flame Anthony

Spiraea x bumalda ‘Goldflame’

D

6–8

F–P

2’–3’

3’–5’

2’–3’

6.0–7.0

 

Spring foliage is bronze-gold turning to soft yellow in summer. Medium-fast growth rate.

Reeves Spirea

Spiraea cantoniensis

D

4–9

F–P

4’–6’

4’–6’

3’–5’

6.0–7.0

 

Double-flowered form available. Flowers a little later than other varieties. Prune after flowering, removing old wood at ground level. Fast growth rate.

Thunberg Spirea

Spiraea thunbergii

D

4–8

F–P

3’–5’

3’–5’

2’–4’

6.0–7.0

 

Usually first of spiraeas to flower in spring. Late cold spells can kill flower buds. Flowers best in full sun. Colonial and can be invasive. Prune out old wood in spring after flowering. Medium growth rate.

Common Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

D

3–7

F–S

3’–6’

3’–6’

2’–5’

6.0–7.0

 

Similar to Indiancurrant Coralberry, but fruit are white. Native to central North America. Fast growth rate.

Indiancurrent Coralberry

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

D

2–8

F–S

2’–5’

4’–8’

2’–5’

5.5–7.5

X

Does well in poor soil. Good for use under trees where shade is not dense. Fruit are small and pink to purple in winter (S. albus has white fruit). Medium growth rate.

Rheingold American Arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis ‘Rheingold’

NE

2–7

F

4’–5’

3’–4’

2’–4’

6.0–7.5

 

Ovate to conical form with gold foliage turning copper to brownish in winter. Slow growth rate.

Mapleleaf Viburnum

Viburnum acerifolium

D

4–8

P–S

4’–6’

4’–6’

3’–4’

5.5–7.0

X

Deciduous, native, and rare in Mississippi. Slow growth rate.

Koreanspice Viburnum

Viburnum carlesii

BE

5–8

F–P

4’–6’

4’–6’

3’–4’

5.5–7.0

 

Evergreen shrub. Flowers pink to white in spring. Very fragrant. Slow growth rate.

Service Viburnum

Viburnum utile

BE

6–8

P–S

4’–6’

4’–6’

3’–4’

5.5–7.0

 

Evergreen shrub. Flowers white in spring. Slow growth rate.

Adam’s Needle Yucca

Yucca filamentosa

BE

5–9

F–S

3’–6’

2’–4’

3’–4’

5.5–7.0

X

Tolerates most areas except wet soils. Variegated forms available. Leaves less rigid than Aloe Yucca. Leaf margins have filaments. Sometimes called bear grass. Slow growth rate.

Small Soapweed

Yucca glauca

BE

4–8

F–S

3’–4’

2’–3’

3’–4’

5.5–7.0

X

Tolerates most areas except wet soils. Leaves less rigid than Aloe Yucca. Leaf margins have few or no filaments. Sometimes called bear grass. Slow growth rate.

Curveleaf Yucca

Yucca recurvifolia

BE

6–9

F–S

3’–6’

2’–4’

3’–4’

5.5–7.0

X

Tolerates most areas except wet soils. Similar to Y. gloriosa, but foliage is recurved. Leaf margins lack filaments. Slow growth rate.

 

TABLE 1b. Ornamental landscape shrubs by height group: Medium Shrubs – 5–10 feet

Common Name

Scientific Name

Foliage1

Zones

Light2

Height

Width

Spacing

pH range

Native3

Comments

Glossy Abelia

Abelia x grandiflora

SE

6–9

F–S

3'–6'

3'–6'

4’–6’

6.0–8.0

 

Flowers on new growth. Tolerates city conditions well. May have several blooming cycles per season. Tends to accumulate deadwood. Attracts bees. Medium-fast growth rate.

Red Chokeberry

Aronia arbutifolia

D

4–9

F–P

6'–10'

3'–5'

5'–8'

5.5–7.0

X

Clusters of small, white to reddish flowers in spring that produce red fruit in fall. Slow growth rate.

Japanese Aucuba

Aucuba japonica

BE

7–10

P–S

6'–10'

6'–10'

3’–4’

5.5–7.0

 

Needs damp but well-drained soil. Sunburns in full sun; wind burns in winter. Plant no deeper than grown in nursery. Medium to slow growth rate. ‘Picturata,’ leaves with prominent yellow splotch and slow growth rate; ‘Variegata,’ leaves with yellow specks or tiny spots and medium growth rate.

Wintergreen Barberry

Berberis julianae

BE

5–8

F–P

6'–8'

6'–8'

2’–3’

6.0–8.0

 

Reported to be hardiest evergreen barberry. Low maintenance. Difficult to transplant. Flowers on old wood. Medium growth rate.

Mentor Barberry

Berberis x mentorensis

SE

5–8

F–P

5'–6'

5'–7'

3’–5’

6.0–8.0

 

Tolerates city conditions well. Medium growth rate.

Butterfly–bush

Buddleia davidii

SE

5–9

F

5'–10'

5'–10'

4'–8'

6.0–7.0

 

Many cultivars with flower color ranging from white to dark purple. Can be invasive. Growth rate is fast from established plants.

Lindley's Butterfly–bush

Buddleia lindleyana

SE

7–9

F

4'–6'

4'–6'

3'–5'

6.0–7.0

 

Flowers are purple-violet. A few cultivars have been developed. Growth rate is fast from established plants.

Honeycomb Butterfly–bush

Buddleia x weyeriana ‘Honeycomb’

SE

5–9

F

5'–10'

5'–10'

4'–8'

6.0–7.0

 

Flowers are yellow. Growth rate is fast from established plants.

American Beautyberry

Callicarpa americana

D

7–11

F–P

3'–8'

3'–8'

3’–5’

6.0–8.0

X

Fruits more in full sun. Tolerates very poor soil conditions. Fruit persists for relatively short time. Fast growth rate.

White American Beautyberry

Callicarpa americana ‘Lactea’

D

7–11

F–P

3'–8'

3'–8'

3’–5’

6.0–8.0

X

See American Beautyberry. Fast growth rate.

Bodinier Beautyberry

Callicarpa bodinieri

D

6–8

F–P

6'–10'

6'–10'

3'–4'

6.0–8.0

 

Similar to American Beautyberry but slightly larger. Arching branch habit. Fast growth rate.

Japanese Beautyberry

Callicarpa japonica

D

5–8

F–P

4'–6'

4'–6'

3'–4'

6.0–8.0

 

Similar to American Beautyberry. Some cultivars have been developed. Fast growth rate.

Sweet Shrub

Calycanthus floridus

D

5–9

F–P

6'–9'

6'–12'

4’–8’

6.0–7.0

X

Native shrub worthy of more use in landscapes. At least two botanical varieties and several cultivars. Often associated with old southern landscapes. Also called Carolina Allspice. Medium growth rate.

Buttonbush

Cephalanthus occidentalis

D

5–11

F

4'–8'

3'–6'

3'–4'

5.5–7.0

X

Common wetland shrub with globose white inflorescences similar to a pincushion. Not drought tolerant. Medium growth rate.

Common Flowering Quince

Chaenomeles speciosa

D

4–8

F

6'–10'

6'–10'

5’–8’

6.0–7.0

 

Early spring color. Sheds leaves early in fall. May flower sparsely in lower south. Several cultivars and flower colors. Medium growth rate.

Mexican–orange

Choisya ternata

BE

7–10

F–P

6'–8'

6'–8'

4'–5'

5.5–6.5

 

Compact shrub from Mexico. Needs well-drained soil. Medium growth rate.

Summersweet Clethra

Clethra alnifolia

D

4–9

F–P

4'–8'

4'–6'

3'–5'

5.5–7.0

X

Produces white racemes of fragrant blooms in summer. Several cultivars available including some with pink flowers. Slow to medium growth rate.

Redosier Dogwood

Cornus sericea

D

2–7

F–P

7'–9'

7'–10'

6'–10'

5.5–7.0

 

Native to north U.S. but not to south; does not do well 7b south. New stems red, except some cultivars like ‘Flaviramea’ (Goldentwig Dogwood). Fast growth rate.

Redtwig Dogwood

Cornus sericea var. coloradensis

D

2–7

F–P

7'–9'

7'–10'

4’–6’

6.0–8.0

 

See Redosier Dogwood. Red twigs throughout winter. Excellent for contrast with light-colored structures. Needs room to develop. May require annual pruning. Medium growth rate.

Spreading Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster divaricatus

SE

4–7

F

5'–6'

5'–8'

4'–6'

6.0–8.0

 

Can be used as a hedge, but multifaceted. Red fruit in fall. Susceptible to fire blight. Medium to fast growth rate.

Parney Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster lacteus

BE

6–8

F

6'–10'

6'–10'

5'–10'

6.0–7.0

 

White spring flowers followed by red fruit in fall persisting into winter. Several cultivars available. Medium growth rate.

Alabama Croton

Croton alabamensis

BE

6–8

F–P

4'–6'

3'–5'

3'–5'

6.0–8.0

X

Typically grows on high pH rock outcrops and rare in the wild. Unusual. Slow growth rate.

Fuzzy Deutzia

Deutzia scabra

D

4–8

F–P

6'–10'

4'–8'

4’–6’

6.0–8.0

 

Good plant for city conditions. Full sun is best. Easy to transplant. Variegated forms available. Grown for profusion of flowers. Fast growth rate.

American Euonymus

Euonymus americanus

SE

6–9

F–S

4'–6'

4'–6'

3'–5'

6.0–7.0

X

Also called Strawberry-bush. Colonial shrub with green twigs and red, hanging fruit. Growth is fast for suckers on established plants.

Japanese Euonymus

Euonymus japonicus

BE

7–9

F–P

5'–10'

3'–6'

3'–6'

6.0–7.0

 

Variegated forms may revert to this green form. Similar upright form. Scale a problem. Medium to fast growth rate.

Variegated Japanese Euonymus

Euonymus japonicus Cultivars

BE

7–9

F–P

5'–10'

3'–6'

3’–5’

6.0–8.0

 

‘Aureomarginatus’ (Gold Spot), leaves gold-margined; ‘Aureovariegatus,’ leaves with gold center; ‘Silver King,’ leaves with creamy-white margins; upright form ‘Silver Queen,’ leaves with creamy-white margins, spreading form. Color better in sun. Upright form and large. Scale a common problem. Medium growth rate.

Manhattan Spreading Euonymus

Euonymus kiautschovicus ‘Manhattan’

BE

5–8

F–P

4'–6'

4'–6'

4'–6'

6.0–8.0

 

Foliage and fruit may be poisonous. Scale is a common problem. Tolerant of a wide range of conditions. Medium-fast growth rate.

Japanese Aralia

Fatsia japonica

BE

8–10

P–S

6'–10'

6'–10'

5’–8’

6.0–8.0

 

May not be hardy in Zone 7b north, but may survive most winters. Burns in full sun. Tolerant of salt spray. Good for tropical effect. Medium-fast growth rate.

Large Fothergilla

Fothergilla major

D

4–8

F–P

6'–8'

5'–7'

4'–6'

5.5–7.5

X

Related to Witchhazel. Medium growth rate.

Cape Jasmine or Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides

BE

8–10

F–P

4'–6'

4'–6'

3’–5’

5.5–6.0

 

Can survive most winters in 7b. A popular plant in old gardens in the South. Sensitive to heavy, poorly drained soils. Iron chlorosis in alkaline soils. Several cultivars. Medium growth rate.

Dwarf Burford Chinese Holly

Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii Nana’

BE

7–9

F–P

5'–8'

5'–8'

4’–6’

6.0–7.0

 

Can be pruned to restrict growth. Tolerant of most growing conditions except poorly drained soils. Slow growth rate.

Spreading Chinese Holly

Ilex cornuta ‘Femina Spreading’

BE

7–9

P

4'–6'

4'–6'

3'–6'

6.0–7.0

 

Very heavy berry production. Very wide spreading. No pollination needed for berry production. Fruits on old wood. Medium to fast growth rate.

Convexleaf Japanese Holly

Ilex crenata ‘Convexa’

BE

5–7

F–P

5'–8'

8'–15'

4'–8'

5.0–6.5

 

May be difficult to transplant, especially in large sizes. Good substitute for boxwood. Fairly tolerant of most conditions. Medium to fast growth rate.

Hetz Japanese Holly

Ilex crenata ‘Hetzii’

BE

5–7

F–P

6'–8'

8'–15'

4’–8’

5.0–6.5

 

Taller growing than Heller Japanese Holly. May do best in part shade in hotter areas. Responds to fertilizer. Fruits on new wood. Medium growth rate.

Inkberry

Ilex glabra

BE

4–9

F–P

6'–8'

8'–10'

3’–5’

4.0–5.0

X

Clump-forming in nature. Black fruit distinguishes this holly from most native species. Several cultivars available. Medium to fast growth rate.

Common Winterberry

Ilex verticillata

D

3–9

F–P

6'–10'

8'–10'

3’–5’

4.0–5.0

X

Native, typically along creeks. Colonial in nature. Red fruit on female only. Both male and female cultivars available. Medium growth rate.

Japanese Anise–Tree

Illicium anisatum

BE

7–9

P–S

6'–10'

5'–8'

4’–6’

5.5–6.5

 

Leaves aromatic with fragrance of anise when crushed. Fast growth rate.

Star Bush

Illicium floridanum

BE

7–9

P–S

6'–10'

5'–8'

4’–6’

5.5–6.5

X

Used like Japanese Camellia. Flowers have unpleasant odor. Cannot tolerate heavy shade. Fast growth rate.

Double Flowering Japanese Kerria

Kerria japonica ‘Flora Pleno’

D

4–9

F–S

3'–6'

6'–9'

5’–8’

5.5–7.5

 

Best in partial sun. Sun bleaches flowers. Fibrous roots. Sometimes difficult to transplant. Transplanting requires clump of green stems. Better suited to central and north Mississippi. Fast growth rate.

Beautybush

Kolkwitzia amabilis

D

4–8

F–P

6'–10'

5'–8'

5'–8'

5.5–7.0

 

Related to bush honeysuckles. Flowers pink in spring. Fast growth rate.

Semi–dwarf Crapemyrtle

Lagerstroemia indica and hybrids

D

7–9

F

5'–10'

5'–10'

5'–8'

5.0–6.0

 

Very shrubby in 6b. Many cultivars with a range of characteristics like flower color. See Extension Publication 2007 Crapemyrtle: Flower of the South.

Spicebush

Lindera benzoin

D

4–9

P–S

6'–12'

6'–12'

5'–10'

5.5–6.5

X

Native, particularly on wet, rich soils. Shiny red fruit in fall, except in yellow-fruited forms. Slow to medium growth rate.

Little Volcano Bush Clover

Lespedeza liukiuensis ‘Little Volcano’

D

6–9

F

4'–8'

6'–8'

3'–5'

5.5–6.5

 

New introduction to the U.S.; invasive potential still not fully known. Similar to L. bicolor and L. thunbergii, but form is more upright and dense. Medium to fast growth rate.

Loropetalum

Loropetalum chinense

BE

6–9

F–S

6'–10'

6'–10'

5’–25’

5.5–7.0

 

Several cultivars. Very attractive when in flower. Should not be used in an open, wind-swept area. Grows best in part sun to shade. Medium to fast growth rate.

Texas Silverleaf

Leucophyllum frutescens

BE

8–10

F

5'–8'

4'–6'

4'–6'

6.5–8.0

 

Native to Southwest with gray foliage and purple flowers, although other flower colors available. Some compact forms available. Good for hot, dry locations. Slow growth rate.

Chinese Neillia

Nellia sinensis

D

5–7

F–S

5'–6'

5'–6'

4'–6'

6.5–7.0

 

Similar to Spiraea. Deciduous shrub flowering in spring. Needs well-drained soil. Medium growth rate.

Hybrid Mockorange

Philadelphus x lemoinei

D

5–8

F–P

4'–6'

3'–5'

3'–5'

6.0–7.0

 

Several cultivars, some of which are highly fragrant. Slow to medium growth rate.

Common Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius

D

2–7

F–P

5'–10'

6'–10'

5'–8'

6.0–8.0

X

Native just north of MS and typically found along rocky streams. Purple-leaf (such as ‘Diablo’) and yellow-leaf (such as ‘Dart’s Gold’) forms available. Medium to fast growth rate.

Dwarf Mugo Pine

Pinus mugo var. mugo

NE

3–7

F–P

6'–8'

10'–15'

5’–8’

5.5–6.5

 

One of few shrub pines available. Often used in oriental designs. Not well adapted to Zone 7b south. Slow growth rate.

Variegated Tobira Pittosporum

Pittosporum tobira ‘Variegata’

BE

7–10

F–P

6'–8'

8'–10'

5’–8’

6.0–7.5

 

See Tobira Pittosporum. Variegated foliage gray-green with white markings, but may revert to green form. Other variegated forms available. May need protection in Zone 7. Fast growth rate.

Berckman’s Golden Arborvitae

Platycladus orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’

NE

5–11

F–P

5'–8'

3'–5'

4'–5'

6.0–7.5

 

Formal shape of plant lends itself to formal gardens. Green branchlets tipped with golden-yellow. Once classified in the genus Thuja. Slow growth rate.

Baker Oriental Arborvitae

Platycladus orientalis ‘Bakeri’

NE

6–11

F–P

5'–8'

3'–5'

4’–5’

6.0–7.5

 

Excellent plant for hot, dry locations. Plant shape complements formal landscape designs. Can get larger with age. Once classified as Thuja. Medium growth rate.

Double Flowering Almond

Prunus glandulosa

D

4–8

F

4'–5'

3'–4'

3’–5’

5.5–6.5

 

Very attractive in flower. May be used for cut flowers. Medium growth rate.

Flame Azalea

Rhododendron calendulaceum

D

5–7

P–S

4'–8'

4'–8'

3'–6'

4.0–6.0

X

Native to the Apalachian Mountains. Several cultivars. Flowers May to June. Can reach 15 feet with age. Slow to medium growth rate.

Oconee Azalea

Rhododendron flammeum

D

6–7

P–S

6'–8'

6'–8'

4'–6'

4.0–6.0

X

Native to the southern Apalachians. Deciduous. A few cultivars with flower colors ranging from yellow, pink, and salmon to orange-red. Flowers in April. Slow to medium growth rate.

Southern Indica Azalea

Rhododendron indicum

BE

7–9

F–S

5'–10'

5'–10'

4’–6’

4.0–6.0

 

Well-drained soil essential. Some selections are ‘Elegans’ (light pink, very early), ‘President Clay’ (orange-red, early), ‘Brilliant’ (rose-pink, early- to midseason), ‘Formosa’ (rose-lavender, early- to midseason), ‘Pride of Mobile’ (watermelon-pink, midseason), ‘Mrs. G. G. Gerbing’ (white). Medium-fast growth rate.

Pinxterbloom Azalea

Rhododendron periclymenoides

D

4–8

P–S

4'–6'

4'–6'

3'–5'

4.5–5.5

X

Flowers before foliage (deciduous) appears. Flowers on last year’s wood. Native to the east-central U.S. Flowers April to May. Medium growth rate.

Swamp Azalea

Rhododendron viscosum

D

4–9

P–S

1'–8'

3'–8'

2'–6'

4.0–5.5

X

Native from the Atlantic to the Gulf Coast. Deciduous. A few cultivars with flower color ranging from yellow to pink and red to white. Flowers mid-May to June. Slow to medium growth rate.

Clove Currant

Ribes odoratum

D

3–7

P–S

6'–8'

6'–8'

3'–6'

6.0–7.0

X

Native from Arkansas north and west, so not as tolerant to southern summers. Susceptible to anthracnose. Flowers yellow and fragrant followed by edible fruit. Slow to medium growth rate.

Bristly Locust

Robinia hispida

D

5–8

F–P

6'–10'

6'–10'

4'–6'

6.0–7.0

X

Native to Alabama and Georgia to Virginia and Kentucky. A colonial shrub with hispid branches. Flowers showy, pink, pendant. Fast growth rate once established.

Ural Falsespirea

Sorbaria sorbifolia

D

2–7

F–P

5'–10'

5'–10'

3'–8'

6.0–7.0

 

Rather coarse, multistemmed, colonial shrub. Flowers white in rather large panicles, June to July. Fast growth rate.

Double Bridal Wreath Spirea

Spiraea prunifolia plena

D

5–8

F–S

4'–9'

6'–8'

3’–5’

6.0–7.0

 

Flowers appear before leaves. May be used as ground cover along steep banks. Spreads by underground shoots and forms a thicket; can be invasive. Prune out old wood at ground level after flowering. Medium growth rate.

Vanhoutte Spirea

Spiraea x vanhouttei

D

3–8

F–P

6'–8'

10'–12'

5’–8’

6.0–7.0

 

Widely used and very attractive. Very good plant in conjunction with azaleas. Good for city conditions. Flowers better in full sun. Easily transplanted. Prune old wood to ground after flowering in spring. Fast growth rate.

American Snowbell

Styrax americanus

D

5–9

F–P

6'–8'

4'–6'

4'–6'

5.5–6.5

X

Native wetland shrub or small tree. Flowers white and showy. Medium growth rate.

Littleleaf Lilac

Syringa microphylla

D

4–8

F–P

4'–6'

9'–12'

5'–8'

5.5–6.5

 

Leaves small; flowers purple, very fragrant. Slow to medium growth rate.

Variegated Japanese Cleyera

Ternstroemia gymnanthera ‘Variegata’

BE

7–10

P–S

6'–8'

4'–5'

4’–5’

5.5–7.0

 

Often listed as Cleyera japonica ‘Variegata’ or ‘Tricolor.’ Older specimens may get much taller. Takes pruning well. Tolerant of dry soils and competition. Medium-fast growth rate.

Globe American Arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis ‘Woodwardii’

NE

3–7

F

6'–8'

10'–18'

4'–8'

6.0–7.5

 

Globose in shape. May split apart with age, especially in ice or snow. Slow to medium growth rate.

Arrowwood Viburnum

Viburnum dentatum

D

6–8

F–S

6'–10'

6'–10'

4'–6'

5.0–6.0

X

A few cultivars available. Other similar native Viburnums occur in MS. Good for city conditions or seaside. Many shoots originate from the base. Native Americans used this plant for arrow shafts. May be thicket-forming in moist areas. Needs room to develop. Fast growth rate.

Japanese Viburnum

Viburnum japonicum

BE

7–9

F–S

6'–8'

6'–8'

3’–4’

5.5–6.5

 

Does best in part shade. Not widely grown. Sometimes confused with V. awabuki. Medium-fast growth rate.

Chinese Snowball Viburnum

Viburnum macrocephalum

SE

6–9

F–S

6'–10'

4'–8'

4'–6'

5.5–6.5

 

Semi-evergreen shrub to small tree. Large snowball-like inflorescences produced in late spring. Medium growth rate.

Weigela

Weigela florida

D

5–8

F

6'–9'

9'–12'

5’–8’

5.5–6.5

 

Does not grow well in coastal areas that are hot and humid. Many cultivars. Popular shrub in old southern gardens. Medium growth rate.

Aloe Yucca

Yucca aloifolia

BE

8–11

F–P

6'–8'

4'–6'

3’–5’

5.0–7.0

X

Heat- and drought-tolerant plant. Old plants form large clumps with irregular stems. Leaves are stiff, ending in sharp spines. Not recommended for use near walkways or in yards where young children will play. Medium growth rate.

Moundlily Yucca

Yucca gloriosa

BE

6–9

F–P

6'–8'

4'–6'

3’–5’

5.5–7.0

X

Flowers staggered over a long period in mass plantings. One of most manageable of yuccas. Old plantings form multiple stems. Drought tolerant. Medium-slow growth rate.

 

TABLE 1c. Ornamental landscape shrubs by height group: Large Shrubs — 10 feet or more

Common Name

Scientific Name

Foliage1

Zones

Light2

Height

Width

Spacing

pH range

Native3

Comments

Flame Buckeye

Aesculus pavia

D

4–8

F–P

10'–20'

10'–20'

5’–8’

6.0–7.0

X

Fruit is poisonous to livestock and humans. New growth is coppery in color. Not easily transplanted. Flowers are red. Can grow to be a small tree. Fast growth rate.

Bottlebrush Buckeye

Aesculus parviflora

D

4–8

F–P

8'–12'

8'–15'

8'–15'

6.0–7.0

X

Spreading colonial shrub.

Tag Alder

Alnus serrulata

D

5–9

F–P

6'–20'

6'–20'

6'–10'

5.5–7.0

X

Has catkins in spring followed by dark green foliage through summer. Tolerant of very wet soils. Medium growth rate.

Indigobush Amorpha

Amorpha fruticosa

D

4–9

F–P

6'–20'

5'–15'

6'–10'

5.5–7.0

X

Fine-textured compound leaves. Deep purple blooms, although white and blue forms exist. Tolerant of poor, wet soils. Can be weedy on the landscape.

Eastern Baccharis

Baccharis halimifolia

SE

5–9

F

10'–12'

6'–10'

7’–10’

7.0–8.0

X

Can thrive in brackish water. Good for poorly drained soils, but can be invasive. Dioecious; males do not produce the silver or white color in fall. Medium to fast growth rate.

Hollygreen Barberry

Berberis pruinosa

BE

6–9

F–P

8'–10'

8'–10'

5’–7’

6.0–8.0

 

Taller and more vigorous than Wintergreen Barberry. Less hardy than other barberries. Flowers on old wood. Medium growth rate.

Alternate–leaf Butterfly–bush

Buddleia alternifolia

SE

5–7

F

10'–20'

6'–12'

5'–6'

7.0–8.0

 

Willow-like texture with grayish color. Prefers well-drained soils. Growth rate is fast from established plants.

Common Boxwood

Buxus sempervirens

BE

5–6

F–P

15'–20'

10'–15'

3’–4’

6.0–7.5

 

Good for hedging. Some cultivars adapted to Zone 8, and author has seen old shrubs in 7b. Grows equally well in alkaline or acid soils. Larger than Littleleaf Boxwood. Old specimens may reach 30 feet. Many cultivars. Medium growth rate.

Scarlet Bottlebrush

Callistemon citrinus

BE

8–11

F

10'–15'

10'–15'

5'–8'

6.0–7.5

 

May be killed by severe winters. Red flower clusters in form of a bottle brush. Tolerant of salt spray. Can withstand drought. Medium to fast growth rate.

Stiff Bottlebrush

Callistemon rigidus

BE

9–11

F

8'–10'

8'–10'

4'–8'

6.0–7.0

 

May be killed by severe winters. Red flower clusters in form of a bottle brush. Tolerant of salt spray. Can withstand drought. Medium growth rate.

Alpine Bottlebrush

Callistemon sieberi

BE

7–9

F

6'–10'

6'–10'

4'–8'

6.0–7.0

 

Light yellow flower clusters in form of a bottle brush. Can withstand drought. Medium growth rate.

Japanese Camellia

Camellia japonica

BE

7–9

F–S

10'–15'

6'–10'

4’–6’

4.5–5.5

 

Provide protection from sun in middle of day. Compact in full sun; more open with more shade. Many selections available. Medium-slow growth rate.

Sasanqua Camellia

Camellia sasanqua

BE

6–9

P–S

6'–10'

5'–8'

4’–6’

4.5–6.5

 

Prefers less acid soil than Japanese Camellia. More cold-hardy. Flowers and foliage burn in full sun. Plant shallow where drainage is poor. Medium growth rate.

Japanese Plum Yew

Cephalotaxus harringtonia

NE

6–9

F–S

5'–20'

5'–20'

3'–10'

6.5–7.0

 

Several cultivars available from dwarf to fastigiate (columnar). Slow growth rate.

Chinese Plum Yew

Cephalotaxus fortunei

NE

7–9

F–S

15'–20'

8'–15'

5'–10'

6.5–7.0

 

Not as common as Japanese Plum Yew in cultivation. Slow growth rate.

Chinese Redbud

Cercis chinensis

D

6–9

F–P

8'–10'

6'–8'

5’–8’

5.5–7.5

 

Flowers more intense in color. Smaller than Eastern Redbud. Shrub-like for several years. Hard to transplant as mature tree. Medium growth rate.

Blue Falsecypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Boulevard’

NE

5–8

F

15'–20'

10'–15'

3’–5’

6.0–7.0

 

May develop to adult foliage and become much taller. Very attractive but not widely grown. Slow growth rate.

Sawara Falsecypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Filifera'

NE

4–8

F

15'–20'

10'–15'

10'–15'

6.0–7.0

 

Fine textured, weeping form. Good for accenting. Can grow to be a 50-foot tree. Susceptible to juniper blight. Medium growth rate.

Sawara Falsecypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera Aurea’

NE

4–8

F

15'–20'

10'–15'

10'–15'

6.0–7.0

 

Fine textured, weeping form with yellow foliage. Good for accenting. Can grow to be a 20-foot tree. Susceptible to juniper blight. Medium growth rate.

Fragrant Wintersweet

Chimonanthus praecox

D

6–9

F–S

10'–15'

8'–12'

6'–10'

6.0–7.0

 

Flowers yellow, fragrant. Some cultivars developed. Slow growth rate.

Chinese Fringetree

Chionanthus retusus

D

6–8

F–P

15'–25'

15'–20'

15'–20'

6.0–7.0

 

Similar to White Fringetree, but shorter petals and probably less showy. Can grow to be a small tree. Slow growth rate.

White Fringetree

Chionanthus virginicus

D

4–9

F–P

25'–30'

25'–30'

20'–25'

6.0–7.0

X

Also known as Grancy Gray-beard. Popular shrub or small tree with age. Male and female trees. Slow growth rate.

Japanese Clethra

Clethra barbinervis

D

5–7

F–P

10'–20'

8'–15'

5'–10'

5.5–7.0

 

Produces white racemes of slightly fragrant blooms in summer. May grow to a small tree with age. Slow to medium growth rate.

Buckwheat–tree

Cliftonia monophylla

BE

7–9

F–P

6'–12'

4'–10'

3'–8'

5.5–7.0

X

White or pink flowers in racemes. Wetland shrub; may grow to a tree with age. Medium growth rate.

Silky Dogwood

Cornus amomum

D

4–8

F–P

6'–10'

6'–10'

4'–8'

5.5–7.0

X

Small, white flowers in clusters followed by dark bluish fruit. Wetland shrub or small tree in the wild. Medium to fast growth rate.

Drummond's Dogwood

Cornus drummondii

D

4–9

F–P

20'–25'

10'–20'

10'–20'

5.5–7.0

X

Similar to Silky Dogwood, except fruit are white. Suckers profusely and can be aggressive. Growth rate is slow, but shoots are fast.

Swamp Dogwood

Cornus foemina

D

6–9

F–P

20'–25'

10'–20'

10'–20'

5.5–7.0

X

Very similar to Silky Dogwood, except larger. Wetland shrub or small tree in the wild. Medium to fast growth rate.

Gray Dogwood

Cornus racemosa

D

3–8

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

10'–15'

5.5–7.0

X

Similar to Drummond’s Dogwood, except fruit are white to bluish-white and inflorescence more paniculate. Suckers profusely and can be aggressive. Growth rate is slow, but shoots are fast.

Bloodtwig Dogwood

Cornus sanguinea

D

4–8

F–P

6'–15'

6'–15'

5'–7'

5.5–7.0

 

Red stems showy in winter, but needs pruning. Several cultivars available. Growth rate is slow to medium, but fast for suckers.

Fragrant Winterhazel

Corylopsis glabrescens

D

5–8

F–P

8'–15'

8'–15'

6'–10'

5.5–7.0

 

Flowers fragrant. Related to Witchhazel. Can be grown as a small tree. Slow to medium growth rate.

American Filbert

Corylus americana

D

4–9

F–P

8'–15'

6'–10'

6'–8'

5.5–7.0

X

Produces catkins in spring. Fruit (nut) edible. Often colonial. Medium to fast growth rate.

European Filbert

Corylus avellana

D

4–8

F–P

12'–20'

10'–15'

10'–15'

5.5–7.0

 

Similar to American Filbert. Can grow to be a small tree. Several cultivars, including the common ‘Contorta’ or Harry Lauder’s Walkingstick. Medium to fast growth rate.

Common Smoketree

Cotinus coggygria

D

5–8

F

10'–15'

10'–15'

10'–15'

5.5–7.0

 

Most forms are purple. Several cultivars available. Medium growth rate.

American Smoketree

Cotinus obovatus

D

4–8

F–S

20'–30'

20'–30'

20'–30'

6.0–8.0

X

Also called Chittamwood. Grows on high-pH soils or rock in the wild. Can become a small tree with age. Slow to medium growth rate.

Willowleaf Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster salicifolius

BE

6–7

F

10'–15'

8'–12'

6'–10'

6.0–7.0

 

White flowers in spring followed by red fruit in fall persisting into winter. Medium growth rate.

Swamp Cyrilla

Cyrilla racemiflora

SE

6–11

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

8'–12'

5.5–7.0

X

White flowers in tassels. Wetland plant in the wild. Eventually a small tree. Medium growth rate.

Isu Tree

Distylium racemosum

BE

6–9

P

7'–10'

7'–10'

7'–10'

5.5–6.0

 

Produces reddish-maroon flowers in spring. Will eventually be a small tree. Medium growth rate.

Common Pearlbush

Exochorda racemosa

D

4–8

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

5’–8’

5.5–6.0

 

Somewhat difficult to transplant. Requires little pruning. Profusion of white flowers in spring. Can be grown as a small tree. Medium growth rate.

Pineapple Guava

Feijoa sellowiana

BE

8–10

F–S

10'–15'

8'–10'

5’–8’

6.0–7.5

 

Tolerant of salt spray. Very intolerant of poorly drained soils. Several cultivars listed but hard to find in the trade. Medium growth rate.

Common Fig

Ficus carica

D

7–10

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

10’–15’

5.5–7.5

 

‘Mission,’ ‘Celeste,’ ‘Brown Turkey,’ and ‘Magnolia’ often grown for home fruit production. Selective pruning keeps plant in bounds. Medium to fast growth rate.

Fortune Fontanesia

Fontanesia fortunei

D

4–8

F–P

12'–15'

12'–15'

10'–15'

5.5–7.0

 

Fine-textured large shrub or small tree (can grow to more than 30 feet). Medium to fast growth rate.

Border Forsythia

Forsythia x intermedia

D

5–8

F–P

8'–10'

10'–12'

5'–8'

6.0–7.5

 

Has profusion of yellow flowers in early spring. Many cultivars. ‘Lynwood Gold’ flowers are more open than standard form and heavily distributed along stem. Best where winters are cold. Thin out old wood immediately after flowering. Medium to fast growth rate.

Franklin Tree

Franklinia alatamaha

D

5–9

F–P

10'–20'

6'–15'

5'–10'

5.5–7.0

X

Once native, but original site never relocated. Related to Camellia. Can be grown as a small tree. Susceptible to root rot. Medium growth rate.

Loblolly–bay

Gordonia lasianthus

BE

7–9

F–P

30'–40'

15'–20'

15'–20'

5.5–7.0

X

Related to Camellia. In wild grows on wet sites. Shrub small, but will eventually be a tree. Medium growth rate.

Vernal Witchhazel

Hamamelis vernalis

D

4–8

F–P

6'–10'

6'–10'

6'–10'

5.5–7.0

X

Native woodland or creek margin shrub or small tree. Several cultivars available. Medium growth rate.

Common Witchhazel

Hamamelis virginiana

D

4–8

F–P

20'–30'

20'–25'

15'–20'

5.5–7.0

X

Native woodland or creek margin shrub or small tree. Medium growth rate.

Seven–son Flower

Heptacodium miconioides

D

5–8

F–P

15'–20'

8'–15'

5'–15'

5.5–7.0

 

Flowers creamy white and fragrant; related to honeysuckle. Medium growth rate.

Rose of Sharon or Shrub Althea

Hibiscus syriacus

D

5–8

F

8'–12'

6'–10'

4'–6'

6.0–7.5

 

Remove buds to increase flower size. Flowers when few other plants are flowering. Many varieties available. Fast growth rate.

Common Seabuckthorn

Hippophae rhamnoides

SE

3–7

F–P

12'–30'

10'–40'

10'–20'

6.0–7.5

 

Grayish, fine-textured foliage. Essentially dioecious, so plant male and female plants for edible fruit. Better on sandy, poor soil. Medium growth rate.

Panicle Hydrangea

Hydrangea paniculata

D

3–8

F

10'–20'

10'–20'

6'–8'

6.0–7.0

 

Several improved cultivars available. Can be grown as a small tree. Fast growth rate.

Foster’s No. 2 Holly

Ilex x attenuata ‘Foster #2’

BE

6–9

F–P

~25'

~15'

5’–7.5’

5.0–6.0

 

Hybrid between American Holly and Dahoon Holly. Leaves more narrow than American Holly. More tolerant of adverse conditions than American Holly. Medium to fast growth rate.

Dahoon Holly

Ilex cassine

BE

7–9

F–P

20'–30'

8'–15'

8'–12'

5.0–6.0

X

Reported to grow in wet, boggy soils. Leaf color similar to American Holly. Slightly tolerant of salt spray. Often multi-stemmed, but will become a tree. Medium growth rate.

Burford Chinese Holly

Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii’

BE

7–9

F–P

20'–25'

20'–25'

7’–10’

6.0–7.0

 

Much variation in seedlings. With time will become a small tree, 25–30 feet tall and wide. Medium to fast growth rate.

Needlepoint Chinese Holly

Ilex cornuta ‘Needlepoint’

BE

7–9

F–P

10'–15'

8'–10'

5'–7'

6.0–7.0

 

Same as ‘Anicet Delcambre.’ Single point on leaf tip. Medium to fast growth rate.

Bigleaf Japanese Holly

Ilex crenata ‘Rotundifolia’

BE

6–7

F–P

8'–12'

8'–12'

4'–8'

5.0–6.5

 

Best if sheared regularly. Substitute for boxwood. Foliage burn in hot, dry soils. May be best in part sun. Fruits on new wood. Medium-fast growth rate.

Possumhaw

Ilex decidua

D

5–9

F–P

7'–15'

5'–12'

5’–8’

5.0–6.5

X

Birds reported to prefer red berries over orange ones. May be found in fence rows near open fields. Fruit not showy until after frost. Medium growth rate.

Nellie R. Stevens Holly

Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’

BE

6–9

F–P

15'–25'

10'–15'

5’–7.5’

6.0–6.0

 

Hybrid between English and Chinese holly. Female clone. Large leaves. Medium-fast growth rate.

Yaupon Holly

Ilex vomitoria

BE

7–10

F–S

15'–20'

10'–15'

5’–8’

5.0–8.0

X

Highly desirable native shrub. Dioecious. May be “poodled” or espaliered. Yellow fruit form available. Fruits on 2-year-old wood. ‘Pendula’ is a weeping form. Medium to fast growth rate.

Small Anise–Tree

Illicium parviflorum

BE

6–9

P–S

15'–20'

12'–18'

8'–10'

5.5–6.5

X

Native to Georgia and Florida. Flowers small, yellowish. Cannot tolerate heavy shade. Fast growth rate.

Blue Column Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘Columnaris Glauca’

NE

4–9

F

~24'

~10'

2’–3’

6.0–8.0

 

All leaves are juvenile (sharp-pointed). Medium growth rate.

Hetz Chinese Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘Hetzii’

NE

4–9

F

~15

~15

10’–15’

6.0–8.0

 

Similar to ‘Pfitzeriana.’ Medium to fast growth rate.

Hollywood Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘Kaizuka’

NE

4–9

F

20'–30'

5'–6'

5’–8’

6.0–8.0

 

Sometimes listed as ‘Torulosa.’ Twisted, contorted growth form. Medium to fast growth rate.

Variegated Hollywood Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘Kaizuka Variegated’

NE

4–9

F

20'–30'

5'–6'

5’–8’

6.0–8.0

 

Does not grow as tall or as fast as regular Hollywood juniper. Medium to fast growth rate.

Blue Haven Juniper

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Haven’

NE

4–7

F

~20

~6'

8’–12’

5.5–7.0

 

Sometimes sold as ‘Blue Heaven.’ Extremely durable plant for dry locations when larger plant is needed. Maintains blue color throughout the year. Medium-fast growth rate.

Gray Gleam Juniper

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Gray Gleam’

NE

4–7

F

15'–20'

5'–7'

8’–12’

6.0–8.0

 

Upright form with good gray-green to blue-gray foliage. Medium-fast growth rate.

Weeping Rocky Mountain Juniper

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Pendula’

NE

4–7

F

~20'

8'–12'

5’–8’

6.0–8.0

 

Usually planted as a specimen. A spectacular weeping or drooping form with branching characteristic. May need staking when first planted. Medium growth rate.

Skyrocket Rocky Mountain Juniper

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’

NE

4–7

F

~20'

~3'

5’–8’

6.0–8.0

 

Usually planted as a specimen. A spectacular weeping or drooping form with branching characteristic. May need staking when first planted. Medium growth rate.

Wichita Blue Rocky Mountain Juniper

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Wichita Blue’

NE

4–7

F

~20'

5'–8'

5'–8'

6.0–8.0

 

Pyramidal form with bright blue foliage. Medium growth rate.

Canaerti Eastern Redcedar

Juniperus virginiana 'Canaertii'

NE

4–9

F

~25

5'–8'

5'–8'

6.0–8.0

X

Compact pyramidal form of native Eastern redcedar. Could be considered a tree. Medium growth rate.

Mountain Laurel

Kalmia latifolia

BE

4–9

P–S

7'–15'

7'–15'

5’–8’

4.5–6.0

X

Can get much larger. Many cultivars, but not easily found in Southern nurseries. Magnificent display of color in spring. Almost impossible to transplant from native stands. Slow growth rate.

Intermediate Crapemyrtle

Lagerstroemia indica and hybrids

D

7–9

F

13'–20'

8'–15'

6’–9’

5.0–6.0

 

Very shrubby in 6b. Many cultivars with a range of characteristics like flower color. See Extension Publication 2007 Crapemyrtle: Flower of the South.

Tall Crapemyrtle

Lagerstroemia indica and hybrids

D

7–9

F

~20'

8'–15'

10’–20’

5.0–6.0

 

Very shrubby in 6b. Many cultivars with a range of characteristics like flower color. See Extension Publication 2007 Crapemyrtle: Flower of the South.

Vicary Golden Privet

Ligustrum x vicaryi

BE

5–9

F–P

10'–12'

10'–12'

5'–6'

6.0–7.0

 

Grown for its golden-yellow foliage that is present throughout the growing season. Medium growth rate.

Star Magnolia

Magnolia stellata

D

4–8

F–P

~10

~8'

4’–6’

5.0–6.0

 

Usually flowers before other shrubs in spring. May flower in midwinter in warm areas. Flowers subject to late freeze damage or freeze after winter warm spell. Medium-slow growth rate.

Hybrid Mahonia

Mahonia x media

BE

7–9

P–S

8'–15'

3'–5'

3'–5'

6.0–7.0

 

Hybrid between M. japonica and M. lomariifolia. A few cultivars available. Slow growth rate.

Weeping White Mulberry

Morus alba ‘Pendula’

D

4–9

F–P

15'–20'

15'–20'

10'–15'

5.5–7.0

 

Grafted onto White Mulberry under-stock, which probably makes this more tree than shrub. Height varies depending on the height of graft union. Striking appearance. Medium to fast growth rate.

Southern Waxmyrtle

Myrica cerifera

BE

7–11

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

10’–15’

4.0–6.0

X

Early settlers boiled leaves and fruit to get wax that they used to make bayberry candles. Not particularly long-lived. Very tolerant of most growing conditions. Greatest success comes in transplanting smaller plants. Easily transplanted in the 3–4-foot height range. Fast growth rate.

Oleander

Nerium oleander

BE

8–11

F–P

6'–20'

6'–20'

7’–10’

6.0–7.5

 

All plant parts poisonous. Smoke from burning plant parts is also poisonous. Withstands temperatures at least to 24 °F. Endures heat, glare, poor, dry, alkaline, sandy soils. Many improved selections, including dwarfs. Generally, cold tolerance increases as flower color darkens. Medium-fast growth rate.

Devilwood

Osmanthus americanus

BE

6–9

F–P

15'–25'

10'–20'

8'–15'

5.5–7.0

X

Native to the Coastal Plain. Flowers similar to other Osmanthus species. Slow to medium growth rate.

Hollyleaf Osmanthus

Osmanthus x fortunei

BE

7–9

F–P

15'–20'

15'–20'

10’–15’

5.5–7.0

 

Popular plant in old Southern gardens. Fragrance not as strong nor flower period as long as Sweet Olive. Slow growth rate.

Sweet Olive

Osmanthus fragrans

BE

7–10

F–P

20'–30'

20'–30'

10'–15'

5.5–7.0

 

Flower initiation induced by sudden changes in temperature and moisture. A long-lived shrub. Old plants may reach 25 feet tall and 12–15 feet wide. Good drainage essential. Slow growth rate.

Sweet Olive

Osmanthus heterophyllus

BE

7–9

F–P

10'–20'

8'–15'

8'–15'

5.5–7.0

 

Flower initiation induced by sudden changes in temperature and moisture. A long-lived shrub. Old plants may reach 24 feet tall and 12–15 feet wide. Good drainage essential. Slow to medium growth rate.

Odorless Mockorange

Philadelphus inodorus

D

5–9

F

~10'

8'–10'

6'–8’

6.0–8.0

X

Native on higher pH soils. Excellent deciduous shrub for South. Prune out old, non-flowering wood after flowering. Medium growth rate.

Fraser Photinia

Photinia x fraseri

BE

7–9

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

6'–12'

6.0–7.0

 

New growth very showy with coppery-red color. Prone to fire blight and other diseases, so relatively short lived. Will grow in shade, but foliage not as dense. Plant is a cross between Chinese Photinia and Japanese Photinia. Medium to fast growth rate.

Japanese Photinia

Photinia glabra

BE

7–9

F–P

10'–12'

8'–10'

5’–8’

6.0–7.0

 

Red leaf color best in full sun. Takes pruning well. Sometimes called Red Top or Red Tip. Loose, well-drained soil essential for good growth. Magnesium deficiency may be a problem. Medium growth rate.

Chinese Photinia

Photinia serratifolia (serrulata)

BE

6–9

F–P

20'–25'

15'–20'

10'–15'

6.0–7.0

 

Can be invasive. Becomes leggy with old age. New growth coppery colored. Very intolerant of poorly drained soils. Medium growth rate.

Japanese Pieris

Pieris japonica

BE

5–7

F–S

9'–12'

6'–8'

3'–4'

5.5–6.5

 

Many cultivars, with flowers ranging in color from white to reddish. Compact forms also availble. Slow growth rate.

Mock Orange, Tobira Pittosporum

Pittosporum tobira

BE

7–10

F–P

10'–12'

15'–20'

10'–12'

6.0–7.5

 

Lemon-scented foliage. Several cultivars, including variegated leaf forms. Withstands heat and drought, but not recommended for zone without protection. Possible winter damage every 10 years or so. Medium growth rate.

Oriental Arborvitae

Platycladus orientalis

NE

6–11

F–P

18'–25'

10'–15'

6'–10'

6.0–7.5

 

Branches more vertical than regular arborvitae. Many varieties in the industry. Plant shape complements formal landscape designs. Fast growth rate.

Southern Yew

Podocarpus macrophyllus 'Maki'

NE

7–10

F–P

20'–35'

10'–20'

4’–6’

5.5–7.0

 

Can be sheared and shaped easily. Dioecious. Widely used on the coast. May need protection in Zone 7. Medium to fast growth rate.

Chickasaw Plum

Prunus angustifolia

D

5–9

F

15'–25'

15'–25'

4’–6’

5.5–7.0

X

Thicket-forming and ideal for roadside slopes. Often recommended for naturalistic plantings. Medium growth rate.

Carolina Cherrylaurel

Prunus caroliniana

BE

7–10

F–P

20'–30'

15'–25'

15'–20'

5.5–7.0

X

Typically a small tree, but compact forms may grow as large shrubs. Fruit and seedlings can cause problems in landscape. Medium to fast growth rate.

Common Cherrylaurel

Prunus laurocerasus

BE

6–8

F–P

10'–18'

8'–15'

4'–10'

5.5–7.0

 

A few cultivars including dwarf forms. Flowers whittish in racemes. Medium growth rate.

Flowering Pomegranate

Punica granatum

SE

7–10

F–P

12'–20'

12'–20'

7’–10’

5.5–7.0

 

Popular shrub of the old South. There are many double-flowered and non-fruiting forms. May need protection in Zone 7. Medium to fast growth rate.

Wafer–ash

Ptelea trifoliata

D

3–9

F–S

15'–20'

15'–20'

5'–10'

5.5–7.0

X

Not common commercially and usually small understory shrub or tree in woods. Related to Citrus. Slow to medium growth rate.

Formosa Firethorn

Pyracantha koidzumi

SE

8–10

F–P

8'–12'

8'–12'

7’–10’

6.0–8.0

 

Difficult to transplant as a large specimen. Excellent for espalier. Berries produced on 2nd year’s wood, so prune in spring after berries have shed and before new growth begins. Seed viable and can be invasive. Medium-fast growth rate.

Florida Azalea

Rhododendron austrinum

D

7–9

P–S

8'–10'

8'–10'

4'–8'

4.0–6.0

X

Native to the coastal plain. Deciduous. Several cultivars, mostly yellow to orange flowers. Flowers April to May, fragrant. Slow to medium growth rate.

Piedmont Azalea

Rhododendron canescens

D

5–9

P–S

10'–15'

8'–12'

5'–10'

4.0–6.0

X

Native to the Southeast. Deciduous. Flowers typically pink, fragrant, March to April. Slow to medium growth rate.

Exbury/Knap Hill Azaleas

Rhododendron hybrids

D

5–8

P–S

8'–12'

6'–8'

4'–6'

4.0–6.0

 

Many hybrids involving several native species. Deciduous. Many colors. ‘Gibraltar’ (flame-orange) is one example. Slow to medium growth rate.

Plumleaf Azalea

Rhododendron prunifolium

D

5–8

P–S

8'–10'

6'–8'

5'–8'

4.0–6.0

X

Native to Alabama and Georgia. Deciduous. A few hybrids with flower color ranging from orange to red and pink. Flowers July to August. Slow to medium growth rate.

Flameleaf Sumac

Rhus copallina

D

4–9

F–P

20'–30'

20'–30'

7’–10’

5.5–7.0

X

Suckers freely forming a large colony. One of the earliest woody plants to appear on cleared land. Medium growth rate.

Smooth Sumac

Rhus glabra

D

3–9

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

6’–10'

5.0–6.0

X

Suckers freely forming large clumps. Withstands wide range of growing conditions. Tolerant of city conditions. Medium-fast growth rate.

Lady Banks' Rose

Rosa banksiae

SE

7–8

F–P

15'–20'

15'–20'

5'–20'

6.0–7.0

 

Climbing, thornless rose native to China. Flowers March to April. Color forms range from yellow to white. Medium to fast growth rate.

Memorial Rose

Rosa wichuraiana

SE

5–8

F

8'–16'

8'–16'

4'–10'

6.0–7.0

 

Rambler and can be invasive. Sometimes found escaped on road banks. Several cultivars. Fast growth rate.

Pussy Willow

Salix caprea

D

4–8

F–P

15'–25'

12'–15'

5’–8’

6.5–8.0

 

Similar to S. discolor, but S. discolor is susceptible to canker. Female catkins are similar to a cat’s paws. Can be grown as a small tree. Fast growth rate.

Common Elderberry

Sambucus nigra

D

4–9

F–P

5'–12'

5'–10'

3’–5’

6.0–8.0

X

Variety canadensis is native and variety nigra is not. Fruit of this species has been used to make elderberry wine. Fruit attracts birds to the landscape. Spreads by stolons. May become a pest. Some variable leaf cultivars available. Fast growth rate.

American Bladdernut

Staphylea trifolia

D

4–8

F–S

10'–15'

8'–12'

6'–8'

6.0–7.0

X

Rare in Mississippi. Good along creeks. Produces bladder-like fruit that float on water. Colonial in habit. Medium to fast growth rate.

Bigleaf Snowbell

Styrax grandiflorus

D

7–9

F–S

8'–15'

6'–12'

4'–6'

5.5–6.5

X

Native woodland understory shrub or small tree. Flowers white, showy in spring. Slow to medium growth rate.

Common Lilac

Syringa vulgaris

D

3–7

F–P

8'–15'

6'–12'

5’–8’

6.0–7.5

 

Marginal plant for Zone 7b. Not recommended for Zone 8 and south. Needs adequate cold for good flower production. Several forms available with white, pink, blue, and purple flowers. Medium growth rate.

Japanese Cleyera

Ternstroemia gymnanthera

BE

7–10

P–S

8'–10'

5'–6'

5’–6’

5.5–7.0

 

Often listed as Cleyera japonica. Older specimens may get much taller. Takes pruning well. Tolerant of dry soils and competition. Several cultivars available. Medium-fast growth rate.

Pyramidal Arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis ‘Pyramidalis’

NE

3–7

F–P

20'–30'

5'–8'

4’–6’

6.0–7.5

 

Many other cultivars available. Well-drained soils essential for good growth. Seems to do well in most other soils. Plant shape complements formal landscape designs. Fast growth rate.

Sparkleberry

Vaccinium arboreum

SE

7–9

F–S

15'–20'

15'–20'

6'–10'

5.5–6.5

X

Native, sometimes evergreen, colonial, understory shrub to small tree. Interesting bark. Fruit black, small, not as edible as other Vaccinium. Slow to medium growth rate.

Rabbiteye Blueberry

Vaccinum ashei

SE

7–9

F

8'–9'

8'–9'

4’–6’

4.5–5.5

X

Do not plant in soils that have been limed. Add half-bushel peat moss to each planting hole. Do not fertilize the first year. For varieties see Extension Publication 3801 Fruit and Nut Review: Blueberries. Medium to fast growth rate.

Highbush Blueberry

Vaccinium corymbosum

SE

3–7

F–S

6'–12'

8'–12'

4'–8'

5.5–6.5

X

Do not plant in soils that have been limed. Add half-bushel peat moss to each planting hole. Do not fertilize the first year. For varieties see Extension Publication 3801 Fruit and Nut Review: Blueberries. Slow growth rate.

Elliott Blueberry

Vaccinium elliottii

SE

6–9

F–S

6'–12'

6'–12'

4'–8'

5.5–6.5

X

Native evergreen species that bears fruit very early. Usually occurs on low ground. Slow growth rate.

Awabuki Viburnum

Viburnum awabuki

BE

7–9

F–S

15'–20'

12'–15'

8'–10'

5.5–6.5

 

Evergreen and extremely dense in full sun. Good for screening in shade. Medium to fast growth rate.

Burkwood Viburnum

Viburnum x burkwoodii

BE

5–8

F–P

8'–10'

6'–8'

3’–5’

5.5–6.5

 

Flowers have fragrance of gardenia. Medium growth rate.

Linden Viburnum

Viburnum dilatatum

D

5–7

F–P

8'–10'

6'–8'

5’–8’

6.5–7.5

 

Seed viable and can be invasive. Several cultivars. Attractive when in flower in spring. Medium to fast growth rate.

Small Viburnum

Viburnum obovatum

SE

6–9

F–P

12'–20'

12'–20'

6'–12'

6.5–8.0

X

Native to the Southeast. Usually evergreen. Some compact forms available. Medium to fast growth rate.

Sweet Viburnum

Viburnum odoratissimum

BE

7–10

F

10'–20'

10'–20'

6'–10'

6.5–7.5

 

Very dense evergreen with smooth leaves. May be confused with other similar Viburnums. Medium to fast growth rate.

European Snowball Viburnum

Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’

D

3–8

F–P

8'–12'

8'–12'

5’–8’

6.5–7.5

 

Flowers are sterile. Good for city conditions. Attractive when in flower. Flowers occur on new wood. Medium to fast growth rate.

Doublefile Viburnum

Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum

D

4–8

F–S

8'–10'

9'–12'

5’–8’

6.5–7.5

 

Outer flowers in cluster are sterile. Easy to transplant. Can be invasive. Does well in part shade. Several cultivars. Medium growth rate.

Leatherleaf Viburnum

Viburnum rhytidophyllum

BE

5–7

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

5’–8’

6.0–7.0

 

Drooping foliage causes the plant to look wilted. Tolerates shade where other shrubs fail. Should be used sparingly. One of the most cold-hardy viburnums. Medium-slow growth rate.

Sandankwa Viburnum

Viburnum suspensum

BE

8–11

F–P

6'–12'

6'–12'

3’–5’

6.0–8.0

 

Zone 7 with protection. Does best in partial shade in summer. Medium growth rate.

Laurestinus Viburnum

Viburnum tinus

BE

8–10

F–S

6'–12'

6'–12'

4’–8’

6.0–8.0

 

Flowers may have unpleasant odor. Grows best on poor soils, but they must be well-drained. Warm spell during winter may cause flowers to open. Variegated cultivar available. Medium growth rate.

American Cranberrybush Viburnum

Viburnum trilobum

D

2–7

F–P

8'–12'

8'–12'

4'–6'

5.0–7.0

 

Native to northern U.S. and Canada. Not well adapted to heat. Fruit edible. Medium growth rate.

Lilac Chastetree

Vitex agnus–castus

D

6–9

F–P

15'–20'

15'–20'

10’–15’

6.0–7.0

 

Often pruned into a single or multitrunked tree. Has escaped cultivation in some places. Popular plant in old gardens. Foliage has pungent odor when crushed. Medium-fast growth rate.

Chastetree

Vitex negundo

D

6–8

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

8'–15'

6.0–7.0

 

Often pruned into a single or multitrunked tree. Has escaped cultivation in some places. Some cutleaf forms available. Medium-fast growth rate.

1Foliage: Broadleaf Evergreen; D = Deciduous; NE = Needled Evergreen; SE = Semibroadleaf Evergreen; and V = Variable.

2Light: F = Full Sun; P = Part Sun to Part Shade; and S = Shade.

3Native: Refers to species that are native to the southeastern United States.

 

TABLE 2. Invasive landscape plants and suggested alternatives for each.

Common Name

Scientific Name

Suggested Substitutes*

Japanese Barberry

Berberis thunbergii

Viburnum obovatum or similar selections from Table 1.

Russian-olive

Elaeagnus angustifolia

Not well adapted to SE, Leucophyllum frutescens for gray foliage or refer to Table 1 for other plant selections.

Thorny Elaeagnus

Elaeagnus pungens

Osmanthus spp., Viburnum spp., or other similar BE from Table 1.

Autumn Elaeagnus

Elaeagnus umbellata

Osmanthus spp., Viburnum spp., or other similar BE from Table 1.

Dwarf Winged Euonymus

Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’

Viburnum obovatum, Loropetalum, or other similar SE or D species from Table 1.

Shrub Bush Clover

Lespedeza bicolor

Lespedeza liukiuensis, though new to U.S. and invasive potential not fully known.

Thunberg Lespedeza

Lespedeza thunbergii

Lespedeza liukiuensis, though new to U.S. and invasive potential not fully known.

Amur Privet

Ligustrum amurense

Yaupon Holly, Southern Waxmyrtle, or similar BE from Table 1.

Japanese Privet

Ligustrum japonicum

Ilex spp., Osmanthus spp., Viburnum spp., or other similar BE from Table 1.

Roundleaf Japanese Privet

Ligustrum japonicum ‘Rotundifolium’

Ilex spp., Osmanthus spp., Viburnum spp., or other similar BE from Table 1.

Glossy Privet

Ligustrum lucidum

Ilex spp., Osmanthus spp., Viburnum spp., or other similar BE from Table 1.

Border Privet

Ligustrum obtusifolium

Yaupon Holly, Southern Waxmyrtle, or similar BE from Table 1.

California Privet

Ligustrum ovalifolium

Yaupon Holly, Southern Waxmyrtle, or similar BE from Table 1.

Chinese Privet

Ligustrum sinense

Yaupon Holly, Southern Waxmyrtle, or similar BE from Table 1.

Weeping Chinese Privet

Ligustrum sinense ‘Pendulum’

Yaupon Holly, Southern Waxmyrtle, or similar BE from Table 1.

Variegated Chinese Privet

Ligustrum sinense ‘Variegata’

Vicary Golden Privet, Variegated Pittosporum, or similar BE from Table 1.

Common Privet

Ligustrum vulgare

Yaupon Holly, Southern Waxmyrtle, or similar BE from Table 1.

Winter Honeysuckle

Lonicera fragrantissima

Hybrid Mockorange, or similar D species from Table 1.

Heavenly Bamboo or Nandina

Nandina domestica

Dwarf fruitless varieties or another BE with similar texture such as Ilex or Osmanthus spp.

English Dogwood or Mockorange

Philadelphus coronarius

Native Philadelphus inodorus, or for fragrance Hybrid Mockorange. See Table 1.

Trifoliate-orange

Poncirus trifoliata

Use Citrus cultivars, although less hardy and typically require protection in northern MS.

Scarlet Firethorn

Pyracantha coccinea

Hybrid firethorns or Ilex spp. which produce similar fruit.

Cherokee Rose

Rosa laevigata

Refer to other roses in Table 1.

Multiflora Rose

Rosa multiflora

Refer to other roses in Table 1. May sucker from rootstock under hybrid roses.

Japanese Spirea

Spiraea japonica

Spiraea x bumalda varieties, or similar D shrub from Table 1.

Small Flowering Tamarix

Tamarix parvifolia

Juniperus spp. or other similar fine-textured shrub from Table 1.

Five-stamen Tamarix

Tamarix ramosissima

Juniperus spp. or other similar fine-textured shrub from Table 1.

* BE = Broadleaf Evergreen; D = Deciduous; SE = Semibroadleaf Evergreen; spp. = species (plural)


Publication 2651 (POD-07-23)

Reviewed by Jeff Wilson, PhD, Assistant Professor, North Mississippi Research and Extension Center. Written by Victor Maddox, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Plant and Soil Sciences; and Lelia Scott Kelly, PhD, former Extension Professor, North Mississippi Research and Extension Center. Landscape renderings by Richard Martin III.

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