10 More Southern Shrub Favorites

Agarista populifolia (Pipestem leucothoe)

Also known as Fetterbush, this evergreen shrub is highly toxic if ingested. Fetterbush grows from 8-12 feet tall and will produce bell shaped cream flowers from May to June. Plant in shady areas for best color show and remember this is a drought intolerant shrub.

Amorpha nitens (Shining indigo bush)

This endangered shrub grows up to 9 feet tall. It has many blue flowers when in bloom, usually from May to June. It prefers moist soil and is found near creek borders and streams.

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Buttonbush)

A deciduous shrub, the Buttonbush grows up to 18 feet tall. It will flower tiny white blossoms from June to September and fruit from September to October. The Buttonbush has traditionally had its bark used as a laxative and to cure skin ailments, but be highly cautious of this tradition as the bark contains cephalanthin poison that produces convulsions and paralysis. Bees will use the shrub in its honey making endeavors.

Crataegus triflora (Three-flower hawthorn)

A shrub that’s not seen often is the three-flower hawthorn. To try to extend its population, consider finding one to plant in your garden. It flowers from May to June with white 5 petal flowers, and will fruit from September to October. It’s from the Rose family. Plant is thorny, but worth it from a conservation standpoint. It can be found on slopes of mountains.

Erythrina herbacea (Red Cardinal)

This member of the bean family will get up to 6 feet tall. It has red showy spring flowers that hummingbirds love. Bloom season on this is from April to June. It is drought tolerant and prefers broken shade. Careful on this one as the bright red seeds are toxic.

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Fothergilla major (Witch-alder)

A slow growing deciduous suckering shrub, it will reach heights of 6-12 feet tall. Witch-alder has good red/orange/yellow fall color and white spiky flowers in the spring. Preferring acidic yet not limey soil, plant also in full sun to partial shade. Some flowers will produce a honey-like aroma. It is a very trouble free shrub.

Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire)

This is a beautiful shrub that will reach a height of near 8 feet when mature. Its flowers are white, plume-like and arching, and abundant. This is a nice showy shrub for a decorative garden. Good for any type of use, from full sun to full shade although it does prefer to be planted in moist rich soils. This does have a slow growth rate, so keep in mind when planning your garden.

Osmanthus americanus (Devilwood)

An evergreen that grows up to 50 feet tall, but normally is only 10-20 feet. It has a spread of 8-15 feet. Creamy white 4 petal flowers show from March to April, having a sweet lovely fragrance.

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

This is a large shrub/small tree that can reach 20-30 feet. Wonderful displays of small wispy white flowers cover the shrub in spring. This shrub prefers full sun and moist soil for optimum display. It’s very attractive to bees, birds, and butterflies. It’s a good showy choice for a decorative garden.

Rubus occidentalis (Black Raspberry)

This shrub’s berries turn red to black as they ripen. They berries are eaten by many birds and mammals. Its greenish white flowers come in May and the berries ripen in June and July. This grows on 4-6 foot canes.