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Shrubs

Abelia chinensis – Chinese Abelia
  • fragrant white flowers in summer; extremely attractive to butterflies; attracts hummingbirds as well; semi-evergreen to deciduous
  • 5-7’ tall and wide with an informal arching habit
  • full sun to partial shade in moist well drained soil; drought tolerant
Acca sellowiana – Pineapple Guava
  • dramatic and unusual late-spring flowers have pink to white petals and showy red stamens; evergreen foliage is a soothing silvery blue-green
  • delicious edible fruit in late summer; multiple plants produce better fruit set
  • 6’ tall and wide with a rounded habit
  • full sun is best for flowers and fruit, but will tolerate part shade; tolerant of coastal conditions and sandy soil
Aralia spinosa – Devil’s Walkingstick
  • Virginia native
  • frothy white flower clusters in summer attract nectar seeking insects; dark purple-black fruit in fall is attractive to fruit-eating birds; attractive deciduous foliage can have nice fall color; common name comes from thorny stems
  • usually grows 10-20’, but can be larger; clump-forming
  • full sun to partial shade in moist well drained soil; tolerant of less than ideal situations
Arbutus unedo ‘Compacta’ – Strawberry Shrub
  • evergreen with the unusual habit of fruiting and flowering at the same time, usually in December; this year’s white flowers produce next year’s red edible fruit; attractive cinnamon colored bark
  • 6’ tall and wide or more with an upright habit
  • full sun to fair shade in moist well drained soil; drought tolerant
Baccharis halimifolia – Saltbush
  • Virginia native
  • fleecy white clouds of flowers in late summer; deciduous
  • 5-12’ tall and wide with a multi-stemmed irregular habit
  • full to fair shade; tolerant of regular salt flooding, and marshy soils, will also grow in other poor soils
Callicarpa americana – American Beautyberry
  • Virginia native
  • pale lavender flowers in summer produce clusters of bright purple fruit early to mid-fall; foliage repels mosquitoes
  • 3-6’ tall and wide
  • full sun to moderate shade in moist soil
Calycanthus raulstonii ‘Hartlage Wine’ – Raulston’s Allspice
  • showy red flowers in late spring; a cross between our native Calycanthus and a Chinese species
  • 8’ tall and wide
  • full sun to light shade in moist well drained soil
Ceanothus americanus – New Jersey Tea
  • Virginia native
  • fragrant white flowers in late spring to early summer are very attractive to pollinators; turkeys and other birds enjoy the seeds; deciduous
  • 3-4’ tall and wide with a rounded habit; slow to establish
  • full sun to partial shade; must have well drained soil; large root system makes them drought tolerant, but difficult to transplant once established
Cephalanthus occidentalis – Buttonbush
  • Virginia native
  • creamy, fragrant white flowers in summer are attractive to pollinators, butterflies, and hummingbirds; birds like the seeds; deciduous foliage turns yellow in the fall
  • 5-12’ tall by less in width with an open habit; multi-stemmed
  • full to partial sun in moist soil; very tolerant of wet and swampy soils, but not drought tolerant
  • Sugar Shack® is 3-4’ tall and wide
Cephalotaxus harringtonia – Japanese Plum Yew
  • evergreen conifer; dark green foliage; excellent substitute for yews in Southern climates
  • ‘Prostrata’ is a low mounding form at 2-3’ tall, and ‘Fastigiata’ is an upright narrow form at 8-10’ tall by 3-5’ wide
  • partial to full shade in moist well drained soil; heat and drought tolerant
Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’ of ‘Lemon Peel’ – Hybrid Jessamine
  • clusters of either orange or yellow flowers bloom from early summer through fall; attractive to hummingbirds; nocturnal fragrance; deciduous
  • 5-6’ or more with an upright habit
  • full to partial sun in moist well drained soil; drought tolerant; in severe winters it will die to the ground, but easily returns
Citrus trifoliata ‘Flying Dragon’ – Trifoliate Orange
  • contorted green branches with talon-like thorns; white flowers in spring, and orange fruit in early fall
  • 8-12’ tall by slightly less in width
  • full sun to moderate shade in moist well drained soil; drought tolerant
Clethra alnifolia – Sweetpepper Bush, Summersweet
  • Virginia native
  • 3-5” long racemes of very fragrant white flowers in late spring to early summer; extremely attractive to pollinators; deciduous; golden yellow fall foliage
  • 3-8’ tall and wide with a suckering spreading habit
    • ‘Crystallina’ 5-3’ tall by 3-4’ wide
    • Einstein™ 3-4’ tall and wide with 12” curly flower spikes
    • ‘Hummingbird’ 3-4’ tall and wide
    • ‘Ruby Spice’ 3-6’ tall and wide, the best pink cultivar
    • ‘Sixteen Candles’ 3-6’ tall and wide, larger flowers
    • ‘Vanilla Spice’ 3-6’ tall and wide, larger flowers
  • full sun to partial shade in moist soil; tolerant of wet soils
Corylopsis spicata – Spike Winterhazel
  • chains of small yellow flowers bloom in late winter; deciduous; attractive winter silhouette
  • 6-8’ tall and wide
  • full sun to partial shade in moist well drained soil
  • other Corylopsis species are available, but this is my favorite
Cyrilla racemiflora – Swamp Titi, Leatherwood
  • Virginia native (into the Caribbean and northern South America)
  • slender white, fragrant flower clusters bloom in summer; attractive to butterflies and pollinators; foliage turns orange and red in fall; deciduous to semi-evergreen
  • 10-30’ tall by half as wide; can be a large shrub or small tree;
  • full sun to partial shade in moist to wet soil; not drought tolerant; very salt tolerant
Edgeworthia chrysantha – Paperbush
  • beautiful silvery buds open to golden yellow flowers in winter; very fragrant; foliage may appear tropical
  • 6’ tall and wide with a rounded habit, often grown as a standard
  • partial shade is best, but tolerant; moist well drained soil
Euonymus americanus – Hearts-a-Bustin’
  • Virginia native
  • insignificant small, pale green flowers in late spring; showy orange and red fruits in autumn; green stems year-round; sparse foliage can have nice fall color
  • 4-6’ tall and wide with a wispy suckering habit
  • partial shade in moist well drained soil; tolerant of drought and wet soils
Euonymus phellomanus – Chinese Winged Euonymus
  • insignificant spring flowers produce showy pink fruit in fall; attractive corky bark ridges stand out in winter; may have red fall foliage
  • 12-15’ tall by half as wide with an upright habit
  • sun to partial shade in moist well-drained soil; site where winter sun is caught behind to highlight bark
Fatsia japonica (variegated forms) – Fatsia, Japanese Aralia
  • evergreen foliage; white flowers in early winter
  • up to 6’ tall by slightly less in width
  • full to partial shade in moist well drained soil; drought tolerant
    • ‘Murakumo Nishiki’ – yellow and green variegation
    • ‘Variegata’ – white and green
    • ‘Spider Web’ – delicate white and green
Hamamelis hybrids – Witchhazel
  • colorful, fragrant, winter flowers can be yellow, orange, or red; fantastic fall foliage
  • can get 15-20’ tall and wide, but usually less
  • full sun to partial shade in moist well drained soil
  • native Hamamelis are garden-worthy, but the hybrids offer the best flower color
Ilex verticillata – Winterberry
  • Virginia native
  • small white flowers in spring; copious red fruits on female plants in fall and winter; deciduous; dioecious and must have compatible males and females
  • 6-15’ tall by slightly less wide; size varies by cultivar, dwarf forms available
  • full sun to partial shade in moist soil; tolerant of wet and heavy soils
Illicium ‘Woodland Ruby’ – Pink Anisetree
  • hybrid with pinky red “starfish” flowers spring to mid-summer
  • 8-10’ tall by 6-8’ wide with an upright habit
  • full to partial shade in moist soil
Magnolia figo ‘Port Wine’ – Banana Shrub
  • intensely fragrant ivory-pink flowers in early summer; evergreen
  • 8-10’ tall and wide; rounded habit
  • full sun to light shade in moist well drained soil
Osmanthus fragrans – Fragrant Sweet Olive
  • extremely fragrant white flower clusters in fall; evergreen
  • 10-15’ tall by 8-10’ wide, maybe larger with age
  • full sun to moderate shade in moist well drained soil
    • aurantiacus – orange flowers
    • ‘Fodingzhu’ – larger flowers
Rhododendron species – Native Azaleas
  1. atlanticum – Coastal Azalea
  • Virginia native
  • fragrant white flowers blushed with pink in April; attracts hummingbirds and insect pollinators
  • 3-6’ tall and wide
  • partial shade in consistently moist but well drained soil
  1. austrinum and hybrids – Florida Flame Azalea
  • Southeast native
  • flower color varies between pale yellow, gold, bright yellow, orange to red depending on selection; many cultivars and hybrids available; fragrant; attracts hummingbirds and insect pollinators
  • 8-10’ tall and wide
  • partial shade in moist well drained soil
  1. canescens – Piedmont Azalea
  • Southeast native
  • sweetly fragrant pink flowers in spring; deciduous; attracts hummingbirds and insect pollinators
  • 6-15’ tall by slightly less wide
  • partial shade in consistently moist but well drained soil
  1. periclymenoides – Pinxterbloom Azalea
  • Virginia native
  • soft pink, slightly fragrant flowers in April, sometimes white; deciduous; attracts hummingbirds and insect pollinators
  • variable 4-10’ tall by less in width
  • partial shade in consistently moist but well drained soil
  1. prunifolium – Plumleaf Azalea
  • Southeast Native
  • orange-red to red flowers in summer, other colors also; deciduous; attracts hummingbirds and insect pollinators
  • 8-12’ tall by 6-8’ wide
  • partial shade in consistently moist but well drained soil
  1. viscosum – Swamp Azalea
  • Virginia native
  • fragrant white flowers in late spring/early summer; deciduous; attracts hummingbirds and insect pollinators
  • variable 2-8’ tall by less in width
  • partial shade in moist soil; tolerant of wet soils and occasional droughts
Sabal minor – Dwarf Palmetto
  • Southeast native
  • large blue-green fronds can be up to 3’ across; black fruits in fall attract a variety of wildlife; evergreen
  • 6×6’ typically, though can get up to 10’
  • full sun to light shade in moist well drained soil; drought, wet, and salt tolerant
Spiraea thunbergii – Bridal-wreath
  • delicate white February blooms
  • 3-5’ tall and wide
  • full sun in moist well drained soil
    • ‘Fujino Pink’ – pink buds opening to blush to white flowers; fantastic late season fall foliage color
    • ‘Ogon’ – bright gold foliage in spring, chartreuse in summer, then back to gold in fall
Stachyurus praecox
  • showy butter yellow blooms hang from bare branches in late winter
  • up to 10’ tall and wide
  • full to partial sun in moist well drained soil
Vaccinium ashei – Rabbiteye Blueberry
  • Southeast native
  • blush pink and white flowers late winter – early spring; edible blue fruit in early summer; fantastic fall foliage
  • 6’ tall by slightly less in width
  • full sun to light shade in moist well drained soil
Viburnum obovatum – Walter’s Viburnum
  • Southeast native
  • clusters of small, fragrant, white flowers appear in spring; red fruit in late summer matures to black; evergreen in mild winters
  • up to 20’ tall, but look for dwarf selections
    • ‘Densa’ 4-5’ tall and wide
    • ‘Miss Schiller’s Delight’ 2-3’ tall by 3’ wide
    • ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’ 10-12’ tall and wide
  • Full sun to partial shade in moist to wet soil; tolerant of wet soils and slightly salt tolerant
Zenobia pulverulenta – Dusty Zenobia
  • Virginia native (barely)
  • evergreen to deciduous foliage is a powdery blue green in season turning red, orange to burgundy in fall often persisting through winter; clusters of fragrant, white, bell-shaped flowers in spring
  • 3-6’ tall and wide
  • full sun to light shade in moist soil; tolerant of wet soils and dry after established

Small Trees

Aesculus pavia – Red Buckeye
  • Virginia native
  • showy red flowers in mid-spring; attractive to hummingbirds; handsome deciduous foliage, but usually falls by late summer
  • 12-15’ tall and wide; multi-stemmed shrub, or small tree
  • full sun to partial shade in moist well drained soil
Amelanchier × grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’ – Serviceberry
  • native hybrid
  • showy white flowers in very early spring; very edible fruit turns from red to blue-black when ripe; great fall color
  • 15-25’ tall and wide with a suckering multi-stemmed habit, but can be trained
  • full to partial sun in moist well-drained soil; more disease resistant than species
Cercis canadensis – Eastern Redbud
  • Virginia native
  • purple-pink flowers in early spring; deciduous
  • species can get 20-30’ tall by 25-35’ wide; commonly multi-stemmed, but singles too
    • Carolina Sweetheart™ – pink, white and green foliage; same size as species
    • Flame Thrower® – multiple foliage colors; 15-20’ tall and wide
    • Golden Falls® – golden foliage with a weeping habit; 8’ tall by 3’ wide
    • Lavender Twist® (‘Covey’) – contorted weeping habit; 5-6’ tall by 6-8’ wide
    • ‘Merlot’ – one of the best burgundy foliage selections; more heat tolerant; 10-15’ tall and wide
    • ‘Ruby Falls’ – burgundy foliage; weeping habit; 6-8’ tall by 5-6’ wide
    • ‘The Rising Sun’- variegated new foliage in orange, yellow to green; decent fall color for a redbud; 8-12’ tall and wide
  • light shade to full sun in moist well drained soil
Chionanthus virginicus – Fringetree
  • Virginia native
  • white lacy flowers in May to early June; males slightly showier; females have blue-black fruit in late summer, attractive to wildlife
  • 25-30’ tall and wide
  • full sun to light shade in moist well drained soil; adaptable and easy to grow
Cornus elliptica (C. angustata) – Evergreen Dogwood
  • showy white flower bracts in late spring-early summer; showy red fruits in late summer; blue-green evergreen foliage
  • 15-20’ tall by slightly less in width
  • partial shade in moist well drained soil
  • ‘Elsbry’ Empress of China® is a commonly available improved cultivar
Diospyros kaki – Japanese Persimmon
  • delicious and showy orange fruits in fall; can be astringent or non-astringent depending on variety; colorful fall foliage; yellow-green flowers are interesting but not terribly showy
  • most named cultivars will stay under 30’, but the straight species can get larger; dwarf selections available
  • full sun in moist well drained soil
Euonymus carnosus – Spindle Tree
  • fragrant clusters of showy white flowers late spring to summer; coral red fruits in autumn; spectacular burgundy red fall foliage late in the season; deciduous
  • 12-16’ tall by 8-10’ wide; larger with age
  • full to partial sun in moist well drained soil
Euscaphis japonica – Korean Sweetheart Tree
  • insignificant flowers produce showy, red, heart-shaped fruit capsules that split open revealing blue-black seeds; deciduous, colorful fall foliage
  • 12-20’ tall by 8-10’ wide
  • full sun to partial shade in moist well drained soil
Heptacodium miconioides – Seven Son Flower
  • fragrant white flower clusters in late summer are followed by dusky pink calyx; attractive, multi-colored exfoliating bark; deciduous
  • 10-20’ tall by half as wide
  • full sun to partial shade in moist well drained soil; tolerant of less than ideal conditions
Lithocarpus edulis ‘Variegata’ – Tanbark Oak
  • large shrub/small tree noted for its variegated evergreen foliage
  • 20- 30′ tall by 15-25′ wide
  • full sun to partial shade in moist well drained soil
Magnolia macrophylla var. ashei – Ashe Magnolia
  • rare Southeastern native
  • very large, fragrant flowers in spring, large foliage as well
  • dwarf variety only getting 10-15’ tall by 8-10’ wide
  • partial shade is best, but can take full sun with adequate moisture
Magnolia virginiana – Sweetbay Magnolia
  • Virginia native
  • sweetly fragrant white flowers in late spring to early summer; cone-like fruit with bright red seeds; attracts birds; host plant for Eastern Tiger Swallowtail; evergreen to deciduous depending on weather and specimen
  • 10-30’ tall by less in width; larger with age
    • ‘Mattie Mae Smith’ – has variegated yellow and green foliage
    • Magnolia virginiana australis – reliably evergreen
  • full sun to partial shade in moist soil; tolerant of wet soils and salt
Styrax japonica – Japanese Snowbell
  • beautiful white bell-shaped flowers in late spring; pink flowered and weeping forms available; no appreciable fall color
  • 20-30’ tall and wide, graceful wide-spreading tree with horizontal branches,
  • full sun to partial shade in moist well-drained soil high in organic matter
    • ‘Carillon’ is a weeping form
    • ‘Pink Chimes’ is a pink flowered form
    • obassia – Fragrant Snowbell has leaves and flowers larger than S. japonicus, very fragrant, attractive curving branches
    • S. americanus – American Snowbell is a Virginia native wetland species
Taxodium distichum – Bald Cypress (Dwarf Selections)
  • Virginia native cultivars
  • ‘Peve Minaret’ 6-10’ tall by 3-5’ wide; dense foliage an pyramidal habit
  • ‘Cascade Falls’ 8-20’ tall by 5-8’ wide with a crazy weeping habit; may benefit from staking
  • like all Taxodium, bright green fern like foliage matures to darker green; beautiful russet orange fall foliage
  • full sun to light shade in moist soil; tolerant of wet feet and brackish water
Zanthoxylum clava-herculis – Hercules’ Club, Southern Prickly Ash
  • Virginia native
  • greenish white flower clusters in spring; attractive red fruit; mostly known for its thorny trunk; host plant for the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
  • 15-30’ tall by 10-25’ wide
  • full to partial sun in moist well drained soil; tolerant of poor sandy soils, drought, and salt

Les Parks
Norfolk Botanical Garden
6700 Azalea Garden Rd.
Norfolk, VA 23518
les.parks@nbgs.org
757-441-5830 ext. 452

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