American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

American Hazelnut

Zones 4-8 Height: 5-10′ Width: 5-10′ Part sun to shade. Moist to dry soil. Wild version of the filberts that we like to crack open during the winter holidays. Just as tasty too! Bloom time: late winter to early spring Bloom color: male yellow-green catkin, female tiny, red-purple tuft at end of branches. Both flowers occur on the same plant, nuts are produced through cross pollination with a nearby friend.

American Plum (Prunus americana)

American Plum

Sun to part sun. Moist to moderately dry. Nothing announces spring like a thicket of wild plum trees in bloom. Equally at home in a hedgerow or a suburban property border. They produce small edible red or yellow fruits. Need a buddy for best fruit production.

Arrowood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)

Arrowwood Viburnum shrub

Full sun to light shade. Wet to dry soil. Zones 4-8. Height 6-12′ Width 4-10′. 
Vase-shaped to rounded shrub, producing a number of fast-growing shoots from its narrow base. Shoots can actually be used to fashion arrows! Leaves are oval to round with deep veins and serrated with ridges like a potato chip. Bloom color: white, Bloom time: May-July. Valuable nectar source and larval host for pollinators. Produces berries for birds. 

Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Zones 3-8. Sun to part sun. Wet to dry soil. Height 4′-8′ feet, width 4′-8′ feet. Chokeberries are a splendid addition to any landscape. The branches of black chokeberry are shorter and a little stiffer than red chokeberry, giving it a more formal appearance. Adaptable and easy to maintain, White, sweet scented flowers feed the bees in the spring to render large, dark purple to black fruits that sustain birds through winter. Fall foliage is plum to burgundy. Berries are a rich source of antioxidants for people!

Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)

Full sun – part sun. Medium-dry to Wet. Ht. 4-8′, Width 6-15′. a rounded, multi-stemmed shrub with wispy, white, well… bottlebrushy flowers! Blooms during summer, when there’s not a lot for pollinators to feed on. The flower spikes stand out above the rich, medium green foliage. An oasis for parched insects.

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Cephalanthus occidentalisSun to light shade. Moist to Wet soil, Height 3-6′, Width 3-4′. Bloom time – Jun – Aug, Bloom Color – White; Ball-like flowers are a rich souce of nectar for butterflies and bees and seeds are loved by ducks. Great asset to butterfly gardens attracting tiger swallowtails and fritillaries. Likes low wet ground, swamps and bogs but is drought tolerance. Mulch around base to maintain moisture.

Common Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

Common Elderberry shrubFull sun to light shade. Moist to moderately dry soil. Bloom color: white Bloom time: June-July.  Zones 2-8,  Height 6′-8′ Width 4-8′.

Large easy to grow, low maintenance shrub. sends up new canes each year.  The fruits are used for pies, syrup, wine, jelly and makes a good cough syrup. Great for medicinal uses as well. Attracts birds and rich nectar source for pollinators. Needs a buddy for the best berry production.

Common Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

Hamamelis virginianaFull sun to part shade. Prefers moist, slightly acidic soil. ht. 15-20′, Width 15-20′. This low maintenance shrub blooms with yellow fragrant flowers after leaves drop providing late fall color. Deer and heavy clay soil tolerant.

Cranberry Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) 

Sun to part sun. Moist -Wet Soil. Ht. 5-10′, Width 4-8′. An all-around beautiful shrub. large, maple-shaped leaves that turn red, orange and yellow in fall. white, lace doily flower heads, followed by big dripping clusters of bright red fruits in late summer. edible, if you add enough sugar.

Golden St. John’s Wort (Hypericum frondosum)

Full to part sun. Dry to medium wet soil. Ht. 3-4′, Width 3-4′. A dense, round shrub with warm gray exfoliating bark, blue-green leaves and large, puffy bright yellow flowers in June. Drought tolerant, once established. Very valuable to bees as a pollen source.

Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

Full sun to light shade. Moderately dry to Wet soil. ht. 3-8′, Width 3-8′. Gray dogwood has a wild, unrefined character similar to that of red osier dogwood. A fine choice for naturalizing in the landscape. Forms colonies which are thicker when cut in the fall. White blooms in May and June attract butterflies and produce dark colored berries which are eaten by birds. Deer tolerant.

Nannyberry Viburnum (Viburnum lentago)

Full sun to light shade. Moist to dry soil. Ht. 8-12′, Width 6-10′.  In the wild, this shrub is usually found in exposed, marshy areas. It makes a nice addition to a rain garden, but also does fine in dryer areas.  Showy, white flowers in May lead to  berries for birds and people. 

Native Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)

Full sun to light shade. Wet to dry soil. Ht. 2-4′, Width 2-5′. an easy to grow shrub, bearing tubular sulfur yellow (often fading to red) flowers in summer to early fall. It’s long bloom-time makes this a good choice for butterfly gardens. Great substitute for forsythia and the invasive varieties of Honeysuckle.

Native Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)

Full sun to part sun. Wet soil. Ht. 6-15′, Width 4-8′. A much beloved harbinger of spring, the pussy will (or any other willow) is a larval host to many, many species of moths and butterflies. Stems can be cut in early spring for a fuzzy bouquet that will sprout in water and can be planted later. 

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)

Full sun to part shade. Needs well-drained soil. Sometimes called Wild Lilac. Premier nectar plant for many insects. White, frothy flowers attract bees, butterflies and beneficial parasitic wasps and hoverflies during mid-summer when food is scarce.

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

ninebark-physocarpus opulifolius

Full sun to light shade. Dry to Wet soil. Ht. 6-8′, width 6-10′. One of ninebark’s best attributes is an ability to thrive almost anywhere. The interesting exfoliating bark makes a nice attractive shrub for landscaping. A native alternative to Bridal Veil Spirea, ninebark is loaded with white rounded blooms on arching stems in early summer. Excellent nectar source. Tolerates droughts, clay soil, shallow-rocky soil and black walnuts.

Northern Bayberry (Myrica pennsylvanica)

Sun to light shade. Moist to dry soil. An important larval host that thrives in difficult conditions. Semi-evergreen, it is reluctant to lose its leaves it provides cover and adds text to the landscape during winter. Produces the berries whose scent we associate with the winter holidays. 

Pasture Rose (Rosa carolina)

Full sun to part sun. Moist to dry soil. Ht. 2-3′, Width 3-4′.

A good choice for the garden. doesn’t get too large and has a nice mounded shape. The flowers open dark pink, fading to light pink over several days. Young stems and hips are deep crimson.

Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)

Sun to part sun. Wet to dry soil. Ht. 6-10′, Width 3-6′. A very adaptable, vase shaped shrub, producing bright red fruits that the birds leave until spring and brilliant fall foliage.

Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus Sericea)

Full sun to part shade. Medium to wet soil. ht. 6-9′, Width 7-10′. A multi-stemmed shrub with red stems are stunning in winter. Pruning old stems can contain its spreading habit. Tolerant of a wide range of soils including swampy or boggy conditions. White blooms in May & June. Berries are loved by the birds. Deer resistant. 

Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum)

Full sun to part shade.  Medium to wet soil. Ht. 6-12′, Width 6-12′.  

A large shrub with red draping branches for interest in the winter landscape. Dark green ovate leaves and yellowish-white flowers in June and bluish colored fruit in early fall that are readily gobbled up by birds. 


Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)

Full sun to part shade. Medium soil. Ht. 3-6′ Width 3-6′.  A bushy, rounded, deciduous shrub with oblong to rounded dull, green leaves. Tiny, bell-shaped pink flowers bloom June to July. Pale-green berries turn pure white by late summer to early autumn and attractive through winter.

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

Part sun to shade. Moist soil. Ht. 8-10′, Width 6-8′. This is a first-rate ornamental; graceful branches, early, fragrant yellow flowers, radiant fall color. Shade Tolerant. Provides fruits that birds love and larval host plant for the Spicebush Swallowtail (coolest looking caterpillar ever!). Need a male/femal for fruit production.

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)

Full sun to light shade. Medium-wet to wet soil. Ht. 4-9′, Width 4-8′. A carefree disposition, fragrant blooms, and glossy deep green leaves. A superb mid-summer nectar plant for butterflies and friends with creamy white blooms in July and August. Tolerates clay soil, heavy shade, wet soil. 

Sweet Shrub a.k.a. Carolina Allspice (Calycanthus Floridus)

Part Shade to full sun. Moist soil. Ht. 6-12 ft. Width 6-12′.  A unique deciduous shrub with glossy, aromatic leathery, dark-green foliage. Grows taller in shade. Tends to sucker in the wild. Fragrant dark-red flowers bloom April – July. Deer resistant. Clay soil tolerant.


Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginiana)

Virginia Sweetspire - Itea virginica

Full sun to light shade. Wet to medium dry soil. Ht. 3-6′, Width 3-6′. Reluctant to leaf out in spring, but an exceptional nectar plant that blooms in mid summer and is highly attractive to butterflies. In autumn, the shiny, dark green foliage becomes orange/red.


Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata)

Winterberry-ilex verticillata

Full sun to light shade. Medium to wet soil. ht. 3-12′, width 3-12′. Greenish-white blooms in June. Male required for fruit set. A rounded, shrub that doesn’t call attention to itself until fall and winter when female plants are laden with shiny, bright red fruits that look outstanding when it snows and supports birds through the winter.