These deciduous shrubs are native to woodlands and prairies of western China and North and Central America. They are most known for their persistent, opaque berries. The flowers are attractive to bees and the berries attract birds. They are tolerant of poor soils and exposed areas. Grow in small groups in open woodlands, shrub borders, naturalistic plantings, and renovation sites.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsSmall, bell-shaped flowers transform into showy clusters of waxy, round berries in shades of white, pink, blue, or purple.
CareGrow in average, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. After flowering, cut back flowering stems to strong buds and remove one-third to one-fifth of the oldest branches to the base. Alternately, prune only to maintain a healthy framework.
PropagationDivide suckers in fall; take softwood cuttings in summer or hardwood cuttings in late fall.
ProblemsAnthracnose, powdery mildew.