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PLANT PROFILES: LARGE FLOWERING SHRUB

So there’s not enough room for a tree in your design…

…but you still want height! LARGE FLOWERING SHRUBS are a great solution as they bring a presence to the landscape plus possess ornamental qualities not commonly found in other species. Some can even be pruned into small trees, like the Limelight Hydrangea or Miss Kim Lilac.

Similar to LARGE or ORNAMENTAL TREES, the larger shrubs act as anchoring elements in a landscape design. However they are instead more closely related to the other shrub categories. That is because many plants on the market are bred to reach different sizes—some intentionally so there’s a variety of heights for the same species. Others a happy accident when breeding for different qualities. In even tighter spaces, they can be substituted with MID-FLOWERING SHRUBS as there are many plants that share both categories.

If the height is fine, but you need more of a presence in winter, UPRIGHT EVERGREENS might be the way to go. Unlike the deciduous variety of shrubs and trees, evergreens keep their leaves (or needles) in winter. Though one of the biggest bonuses of deciduous species like LARGE FLOWERING SHRUBS are their showy, early, or quirky floral displays!

 

LARGE TREE ORNAMENTAL TREE LARGE FLOWERING SHRUB MID-FLOWERING SHRUB LOW-SPREADING SHRUB UPRIGHT EVERGREEN LOW-SPREADING EVERGREEN
FLOWERING PERENNIAL FOLIAGE PERENNIAL UPRIGHT ORNAMENTAL GRASS SHRUB-LIKE ORNAMENTAL GRASS FLOWERING GROUNDCOVER EVERGREEN GROUNDCOVER VINE

 

KEMORA PICKS Clethra, Dogwood, Elderberry, Forsythia, Hydrangea, Lilac, Ninebark, Sumac, Viburnum, Witch Hazel

SUN Full Sun to Partial Shade
ORNAMENTAL INTERESTS
LARGE FLOWERING SHRUBS provide ornamental
value in leaf color, texture, bark aesthetic, or
bloom as well as compact habits for the urban
environment. A few varieties also boast berries
to sustain native bird populations in the winter.
DESIGN USE
As the tallest of the deciduous shrubs, LARGE FLOWERING SHRUBS act as a design anchor while providing unique interest and bloom times when other species may be dormant. Use at corners or near doors to soften edges or frame entrances.
ALTERNATIVES
Like the width or height of a LARGE FLOWERING SHRUB but hate that it looses its leaves in winter?
An UPRIGHT EVERGREEN fills gaps in tight spaces
and provides year-round privacy.
Lilac Photo Credit: Tom Britt via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]; Dogwood Photo Credit: USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Plant info found on Google is not always precise as it is an aggregate of information from around the world—so we want to share our observations from years of getting our hands dirty in the Second City. This post is the latest in one of our newest series, PLANT PROFILES, where we explore each plant category as well as the preferred species of Kemora. We love plants which in turn gives us a trained eye for trouble-shooting them. And it is our hope you will come to love them too!

Kemora Landscapes is a full-service design, build, and maintenance company based in Chicago.

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