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Regional Picks: Tough-as-Nails Shrubs – Northeast

Fine Gardening - Issue 166

1. ‘Brilliantissima’ Red Chokeberry

Name: Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissima’

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 8

Size: 6 to 8 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil

‘Brilliantissima’ red chokeberry is an outstanding deciduous shrub offering multiseasonal interest. Clusters of small white flowers are produced in profusion during spring and are set off by dark green, lustrous foliage. As autumn’s cooler temperatures set in, the leaves of this native plant transition to vivid shades of scarlet, orange, and purple. The common name refers to the clusters of glossy, fire-engine-red fruit that are quite astringent, so they are not eagerly eaten by man or beast. The fruit display will last for months until the berries either dry up or birds find them more palatable when their other options are exhausted.

 

2. ‘Sixteen Candles’ Summersweet

Name: Clethra alnifolia ‘Sixteen Candles’

Zones: 4 to 9

Size: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full…

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