When everyone thinks of fall colours, all eyes turn towards the japanese maples. However, there are many other lesser known plants that can also provide striking fall foliage colours.
Ruby Slippers Oak Leaf Hydrangea
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'
A profusion of exceptionally large flower clusters are showcased against a dark green deeply-lobed oak-like leaf. Blossoms open white in summer and quickly age to deep pink. Foliage turns a brilliant mahogany in fall. compact form is well suited for small landscapes. Ideally used in mass plantings, hedges and mixed borders. An introduction from the US National Arboreteum. Best grown in part sun in moist, but well drained soils. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9. Fast growing to 3.5ft high and 4-5ft wide.
Henry's Garnet Sweetspire
Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'
Brilliant red-purple fall foliage colour lasts into winter to make this deciduous shrub a standout in the landscape. Fragrant, white bottlebrush-like flowers in early summer add to the year round interest of this award winning plant. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9. Henry's Garnet is a moderate grower to 5-6ft tall and wide. Best when planted in full to part sun in moist, but well drained soils.
Mukdenia rossi 'Crimson Fans'
We've talked about this one before, but it's always a favourite perennial amongst designers. Fanned, maple-like leaves emerge bright green in spring, age to bronze-green and by summer mautre to green with bright red streaks. In early spring, white, bell-shaped flowers dance above the foliage. A lush and colourful groundcover or accent in borders. Deciduous perennial. Best when planted in part sun or part shade. forms a spreading clump to 12 inches tall. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9.
Tiger Eyes Sumac
Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger'
Fuzzy stems, bright yellow to lemon-lime foliage and intense fall colour make this spreading shrub or shrubby tree a winner in the landscape. This shrub just screams 'look at me'. New foliage is chartreuse and turns yellow, orange and scarlet in the fall. Flowers are yellowish green and followed, on female plants, dark red, hairy fruit. Tiger Eyes does spread by suckers and will expand over time. Best in full sun and moist, but well drained soils. Will reach 6ft in height and spread.
Burgundy Bunny Fountain Grass
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Burgundy Bunny'
While everybody loves that other, not-so-hardy fountain grass, this smaller cousin is worth looking at. Burgundy Bunny is a dense, deciduous ornamental grass that forms clumps of narrow green foliage with strong red highlights. Dwarf habit. In the fall, the plant takes on a over-all striking red colour. Small cream-coloured, bottle-brush flowers appear in summer. Ideal in borders, mass plantings and containers. Performs best in moist soil. Prefers full sun. Grows to 18 inches in height and spread. Hardy to Zone 5.
All of these plants are generally available at Art's Nursery. As always, please call 604.882.1201 to confirm availability if you are making a special trip out to see us. Our selection is always changing! If you have any questions about these plants or any others to deliver great fall colour, drop by or give us a ring!