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Native Evergreen Shrubs

Posted by jigsawearth Zone 6 VA (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 17, 06 at 12:43

There seems to be a real shortage of species that fit this description. As far as I can tell, Bayberry and Inkberry are the only two species that work in full sun and can take some urban conditions (salt). Inkberry never seems to look very robust, and shearing it to force leaf out on the lower branches can be tricky and doesnt always work.

Bayberry I am not familiar with as a landscaping plant. I can not find any cultivars that stay small, and it is not really a true evergeen anyway (or is it?).

Rhododendrons, laurel, and Leucothe are the only others I know - and they are much pickier.

Any suggestions? What do you all use as your evergreens in the native garden. I know ther are other ways to get 'color' in the native garden with berries and bark, but I want some GREEEEEEEN!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Native Evergreen Shrubs

Yaupon holly (including dwarf forms), Anise shrub (illicium species), red cedar (really a juniper and I guess more of a tree), there is a dwarf evergreen blueberry in nurseries now (Vaccinium darrowii), Don's dwarf wax myrtle (relative of bayberry?) ... that's all I can add to your list.


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RE: Native Evergreen Shrubs

Also evergreen and for full sun (with moist soil)are Leiphyllum buxifolium, Box Sand Myrtle, and Chamaedaphne clayculata, both native to the Jersey Sand Barrens. There are others too, but my mind has forgotten the names and I'm at work and can't look them up.


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RE: Native Evergreen Shrubs

I have just recently come upon Gray Owl (Juniper virginiana)...a lovely grayish bluegreen that looks great. Check it out. It's not green but who needs dark green everywhere? I am using it as a specimin plant in a bed next to my drive way that technically is a part of the foundation. Gail


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RE: Native Evergreen Shrubs

American Holly is native, evergreen, and tolerates salt and full sun. It grows rather slowly but eventually can become a medium-sized tree. Bayberry isn't evergreen. Wax Myrtle, which is related but more southern in distribution, is evergreen. Wax Myrtle gets pretty large, as do most of the shrubs if not pruned for size.

Altantic White Cedar, arborvitae, and Red Cedar are all upright evergreens that are commonly seen as shrubs. They eventually get pretty large, but grow rather slowly. Eastern Hemlock is often planted as a foundation plant or hedge. It of course grows very large but can apparently be sheared to a smaller size for many years. Depending on how you define native you might also include White Spruce (Picea glauca), and more to the point the dwarf cultivar you see all the time in gardens and planters. Not sure how these "Dwarf Alberta Spruce" tolerate salt, but they are very tolerant of drought and poor soils.

I think almost any shrub will do fine in full sun if soil conditions are good. The only time I'd expect trouble with full sun is when soil conditions are marginal.


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RE: Native Evergreen Shrubs

Another broadleaf evergreen is a plant I got several years ago from High Country Gardens--Arctostaphyllos x coloradensis. I have it in hot, full sun and it's a handsome little shrub. And then there's A. uva ursi--bearberry.


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