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Northeast Regional Reports

Regional Picks: Showy Shrubs – Northeast

Fine Gardening – Issue 191

1. Highbush Blueberry

Highbush Blueberry
Photo: Danielle Sherry

Name: Vaccinium corymbosum and cvs.

Zones: 5–8

Size: 6 to 12 feet tall and 8 to 12 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, acidic soil

Native range: North America

Yes, it has edible fruit, but that’s not the only reason why I love this plant. You can’t beat the colors this native displays throughout the year: bright red twigs in winter, white flowers in spring, rich blue berries in summer, and a spectacular red-orange foliage show in fall. I have not found a spot where highbush blueberry hasn’t survived, except for areas with alkaline or extremely dry soils. It is the perfect replacement for the invasive burning bush (Euonymus alatus, Zones 4–9). Shear these plants into hedges, plant them randomly in a border with perennials, or prune out the smaller stems at the base and turn them into an eye-catching focal point.


2. Seven-Son-Flower

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