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This showy flowering shrub grows to 8 feet tall and wide and features dark green, compound pinnate leaves on bristly stems and pendant clusters of fragrant, pea-like, rose-pink flowers that are attractive to bees and butterflies in late spring and early summer. The flowers are occasionally followed by bristly, reddish-brown seed pods. Native to the southeastern United States, this aggressive shrub spreads by suckers and is considered invasive in Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington. All parts of this plant are at least mildly poisonous.
This evergreen, California-native shrub grows to 20 feet tall and wide and produces abundant clusters of tiny white flowers in early summer, which attract beneficial insects that help control pests. This is followed by bright red berries that feed wildlife in fall and winter. The only species of its genus, Toyon is closely related to the genus Photinia.
This southern California native shrub produces a dense mass of small, glossy leaves and purple, petunia-like flowers in late spring and early summer. Sporadic flowering can occur throughout the season. It grows up to 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
Oakleaf hydrangeas originated along the sandy streams of the southeastern United States, and they are more drought tolerant than many other hydrangeas. Their matte green leaves are coarsely textured and deeply lobed, and in fall they turn red and purple. White flower heads form in spring, and as summer draws to a close they turn shades of pink, green, and ecru. -Nellie Neal, Regional Picks: Southeast, Fine Gardening issue #127
These shrubs are beautiful, compact, and easy to grow, making them obvious choices for mixed borders, foundation plantings, and naturalizing. The fragrant, bottlebrush flowers are petalless and sweetly-scented.
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