Bottlebrush Buckeye- Aesculus parviflora is a spectacular native shrub that blooms in early July. With June’s arrival the Bottlebrush Buckeye begins to show its delicate immature flower spikes which explode into a stunning display of fragrant white flowers with pink anthers at the first days of July. This large shrub attracts a myriad of pollinators and is particularly attractive to Swallowtail Butterflies. Honeybees love the flowers as well. The Bottlebrush Buckeye is hardy in zones 4 through 8.
Bottlebrush Buckeye is a spectacular native shrub that blooms in early July. With June’s arrival the Bottlebrush Buckeye begins to show its delicate immature flower spikes which explode into a stunning display of fragrant white flowers with pink anthers at the first days of July. This large shrub attracts a myriad of pollinators and is particularly attractive to Swallowtail Butterflies. Honeybees love the flowers as well.
This is an exceptional trouble free centerpiece for any landscape with room to show it off.
The Bottlebrush Buckeye is a large slow growing shrub native to the southern United States. It is quite shade tolerant though partial sun will bring more flower spikes.
The Bottlebrush Buckeye is hardy in zones 4 to 8 (possibly 9) and averages 8′ to 12′ in height. It can spread by root suckers but these are easy to keep in check by pruning or mowing. Pruning is only necessary if shaping is required. Removing inconvenient crossing branches is advised. The Bottlebrush is not a messy tree. The seeds, Buckeyes, are poisonous and should be kept away from children. They can easily be removed after the bloom is over as they tend to form at the end of the flower spikes.
Fall color is a glowing golden yellow. Winter exposes the trees upright vase like structure that is neither delicate nor coarse.
2 gallon trees are 2′ to 3′ tall
Buttonbush- Cephalanthus occidentalis grows best with wet feet. It grows well with ample moisture even in shallow standing water. In many parts of the country there are great Buttonbush swamps where the timber has been cleared and Buttonbush has taken over. Many natural lakes and manmade impoundments have shallow flats that have thickets of “Buck Bushes” growing on them. The warm shallow water beneath them is prime spawning ground for many game fish each spring. Buttonbush swamps are prime wintering ground for migrating waterfowl. Their seeds provide food and the thick branches provide cover from predators. If you ever try to walk through a Buttonbush swamp you will understand just how safe a duck is when he settles into one.
This native shrub has several common names, Button Bush, Buck Bush, Button Ball and Honey Ball Bush.
Buttonbush is hardy in zones 5 to 10 and grows from 3′ to 12′ tall depending on its circumstances. In the far northern part of its range, winter ice will shear it back each year to below the water line and it will flush back out each spring but never reach the height it could be farther south.
Buttonbush is a coarse twiggy shrub in winter and is one of the last shrubs to leaf out in spring, a strategy to miss spring floods an mud covered leaves. When it does leaf out, it is a luxurious green with a somewhat tropical appearance. Flower buds form on long stalkt that hang like ornament all over the se shrubs. The flower clusters which are in round balls, open in August when most years there is a dearth of flowers. Honeybees and butterflies of all types flock to these flowers that are open for several weeks. They feed on the abundant nectar and pollinate the flowers so there will be ample seed to feed the wintering waterfowl. Buttonbush turns yellow with the first fall frost but the seed heads hang on through the winter.
If you have a patch of low, wet ground, a pond bank or other wet place, Buttonbush is a great choice to feed your bees and improve that environment.
Carolina Silverbell- Halesia carolina is a lovely native tree that could make a good replacement for the Bradford Pear. It is similar in size, blooms in April and won’t take over the neighborhood. The flowers hang in drooping clusters and are white with golden anthers in the center. The flowers are attractive to all kinds of pollinating insects. Fall color is a glowing golden yellow.
In its native environment, it is an understory tree that grows to 30′ to 40′ but it flowers better and has a better form in full sun. It prefers rich moist soils but is somewhat adaptable. It can take any of several forms of growth. It can be a large shrub if left untrained. It can be a multi-trunked tree or can be pruned to a single trunk like a traditional tree.
Carolina Silverbell is hardy in zones 4 to 8.
Fragrant Snowbell- Styrax obassia is a trouble free small to medium sized tree from Japan, Korea and Manchuria. There are several species of Snowbell around the world, most are smaller trees or large shrubs and none have its distinctive fragrance.
The downward facing flowers hang in clusters reminiscent of Black Locust flowers. The six to eight inch fronds of open bell shaped flowers gently perfume the area around the tree. Their fragrance makes them irresistible to bees and pollinators of all kinds. The Fragrant Snowbell blooms in late May and early June after the earliest blooming trees.
The Fragrant Snowbell in pyramidal in youth and becomes rounder as it matures while maintaining an upright stature. The tree matures at 20 to 30 feet which makes it generally power line friendly. Its modest size makes it a good fit for smaller yards and gardens.
The Fragrant Snowbell can be trained as a single or multi stemmed tree. It can also be trained as a large multi stemmed shrub. This Snowbell’s large leaves will benefit from a planting site protected from strong winds.
Fragrant Snowbell is hardy in zones 5 to 8. It prefers a slightly acid to neutral acid soil that is well drained but moist. This Snowbell is at home in both full sun and partial shade. The tree seems to be quite pest free.
Fragrant Snowbells foliage is a soft green of hand sized leaves that tend to hang downward. The soft green leaves are slightly fuzzy on the bottoms. Fall color is inconspicuous but, winter reveals an attractive exfoliating bark that adds interest to the winter garden.
The Fragrant Snowbell combines modest size, fragrant white bloom and winter interest making it an excellent choice for every yard and garden.
2 gallon trees are 3′ to 4′ tall Bigger Trees
Shrubby St Johnswort
Shrubby St Johnswort, Hypericum frondosum, is a native shrub found most often in rocky glades. This one is not to be confused with the European St Johnsworts commonly seen in landscaping. Shrubby St Johnswort blooms in June and July and produces so much pollen that honeybees turn bright yellow working its blooms. Its bright yellow flowers stand out against the sea of mid summer green. The tan seed capsules add interest long after the sunny flowers are gone
It is hardy in zones 5 to 8 and grows to 3′ to 4′ tall. When grown in the open, it becomes a mounding shrub. This is a good choice for dry rocky
Summersweet Sixteen Candles
Upland Swamp Privet
Upland Swamp Privet, Foresteria ligustrina, is an uncommon native shrub that thrives in dry shade. Where it grows, rocky glades, it is fairly common. It is completely undomesticated and not grown in cultivation so it is a bit wild in growth pattern. Its greatest benefit is that it grows in difficult environments and blooms in mid summer, June- July. It is known to be hardy in zones 6 and 7 and can be trialed in other areas. It matures to 6′ to 12′ tall. Like many native trees, it may be possible to give it a little attention and make a nice shrub out of it
Vitex Negundo is a hardier version of Vitex. A more subtle bloomer covered in pastel blue flowers during an extended bloom period. Hardy to zone 6, a tender perennial in zone 5. Read More
Vitex Agnus castus was known since ancient times as Chaste Tree for its supposed anaphrodesiac qualities. Chaste Trees were brought to the colonies very early for their qualities as a medicinal herb. Their beauty in the garden and the ability to supply poles for beans and peas from their vigorous annual growth.
Vitex Agnus castus is an improved selection of Vitex negundo. It has been selected over many years for its larger more colorful flowers. Both are equally attractive to bees though Vitex negundo is said to be slightly hardier. Both are vigorous growers and produce their abundant flowers on the current seasons growth.
1 gallon trees are 2′ to 4′ tall
Bob Gordon Elderberry
The Bob Gordon Elderberry was selected and released by the University of Missouri for its large flower clusters and uniform ripening. Flower clusters can be as large as 12″ across and the large berries ripen uniformly in mid-July. It is an excellent variety for juicing, jellies and wine production.
Elderberries can grow 5′ to 8′ tall and are hardy in zones 4 to 8
Elderberries are widely adaptable to soil types and can grow in wet soils. They will produce better by planting 2 or more varieties. Elderberries are deer resistant
Wyldewood Elderberry is a release from the Elderberry Improvement Project at Missouri State University along with the University of Missouri. This project was an effort to select varieties suited to Midwestern conditions.
The Wyldewood Elderberry is a vigorous, tall, upright growing variety that produces heavy yields every year. Fruit is held off the ground making it easy to harvest.
Wydewood was selected fro a wild plant growing near Brush Hill Oklahoma and named after Wyldewood Cellars Winery in Mulvane Kansas. Wyldewood Cellars is known for their Elderberry wines.
Fruit ripens in late July and outproduces earlier varieties. The fruit ripens consistently making harvest and processing easier.
Elderberries arehealthful and high in vitamin C and are used in jellies, tinctures, for juice and wine.