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Shrubs With Berries

When you grow shrubs with berries in the landscape, make up your mind as to what the primary purpose of those fruits will be. Do you want to be able to enjoy looking at those colorful berries? Then you may have to discourage birds from eating them. Alternatively, others wish precisely to attract birds with them.

Purple Beautyberry
Callicarpa dichotoma produces purple fruits. This article supplies growing information and observations specifically about the cultivar 'Early Amethyst.' Few shrubs with berries match this bush for the "Wow!" factor. This is a case where you may find a bush's fruits more attractive than whatever birds may have designs on them.

Barberry Shrubs
Japanese barberry is notable for a variety of qualities. First and foremost, nowadays, the species is known to be invasive in North America. Formerly, maybe the first thing that came to mind about it was the thorns (thus their use in hedges). As shrubs with berries, non-gardeners associate them most for the red orbs that dangle from their branches.

Christmas Holly in History, Landscaping
Holly is a must-have to bolster interest in the yard in late fall or early winter. It's hard to know what holly is better known as: an evergreen or a shrub with berries. Luckily, you don't have to choose. Snip off sprigs to use in Christmas decorations, and protect the fruits from birds with netting (unless you'd prefer to see the birds).

Attract Wild Birds With Winterberry Shrubs
Winterberry holly (as its name suggests) is also a shrub with berries. But unlike the types of holly referenced above, it is a deciduous kind of holly. However, far from detracting from its appearance, I feel this quality is a boon to appreciating the bush: the red fruits stand out better without the foliage in the way.

Arrowwood Viburnums
I value arrowwood viburnum on a number of levels. In terms of function, I like that it can be grown in wet soil. As shrubs with berries (blue), they are useful for drawing birds to the landscape. They flower in spring and have red leaves in autumn. What's not to like?

Yews: Evergreen Shrubs With Berries
In addition to the best-known kinds of holly, another evergreen that bears colorful berries is the yew. To scientists, they are actually considered "arils" rather than berries; to homeowners, they're just plain delightful, regardless of how you classify them. Just don't get carried away with your delight: the seeds inside are toxic.

Rock Cotoneaster: The Ground-Cover Bush
Here's a bit of a twist to my "shrubs with berries" theme. Rock cotoneaster's branches are determined to grow horizontally (which you can help along with pruning), meaning that it can double as both a bush and a ground cover. The splendid red fruits are prolific.

Bayberry Shrubs
Bayberry bushes produce strange, waxy, grey berries that furnish you with a point of interest for the winter landscape. The berries (technically called "drupes") have been used to make candles, but you're more likely to value them for their ability to draw wild birds.

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