Table 7.3: A Guide to Common Types of Deciduous Shrubs in the Home Garden.
Native (N)
N = Native to Mid-Atlantic
S = Shade,
F = Foundation,
Sp = Specimen,
H = Hedge,
Sc = Screen,
GC = Ground Cover
Flame Rating (FR)
H = Very Flammable
M = Moderate
L = Low
Scientific Name Common Name N Use FR Comments
Aesculus parviflora Bottlebrush buckeye N Sc, Sp L Well-suited for use under shade trees.
Alnus rugosa (or serrulata) Spotted alder N Sc L Tolerates wet soils.
Amorpha fruticosa Indigobush amorpha, False indigo N Sc L Tolerates poor soils.
Aronia arbutifolia Red chokeberry N Sc L Well adapted to many soil types and to warm or cold climates.
Aronia melanocarpa Black chokeberry N Sc L Well adapted to many soil types, prefers cold climates.
Baccharis halimifolia Groundsel-bush, Salt bush N Sc H Tolerates poor soils and salt.
Berberis thunbergi Japanese barberry H, F L Handle spiny stems with care.
Buddleia davidii Butterfly bush Sp, Sc L Attracts butterflies.
Callicarpa americana Beautyberry N Sp, Sc L Prune out rank growth. Showy fruit. Best in warm climates, use introduced species in cold.
Calycanthus floridus Sweetshrub; Carolina allspice N Sp, Sc L Aromatic flowers and stems.
Castanea pumila Chinkapin, Chinquapin N Sc L Nuts for wildlife.
Ceanothus americanus New Jersey tea N Sp, Sc L Tolerates dry soil.
Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbush N Sc L Well suited for use in wet soils.
Chaenomeles speciosa Japanese floweringquince Sp, H, S L Well adapted to many conditions. Has spines and is susceptible to leaf diseases.
Clethra alnifolia Summersweet clethra N Sp, Sc L Well suited for use in wet soils.
Comptonia peregrina Sweetfern N Sp L Aromatic leaves and stems. Adapted to dry, sandy soil.
Cornus sericea Redosier dogwood N Sc, Sp M Provides erosion control on slopes. Prefers moist soils.
Corylus americana American hazelnut N Sc L Well adapted to many conditions.
Corylus avellana European filbert Sc L Prized for its nut production.
Cotinus coggygria Smokebush Sp, Sc L Well adapted to many conditions.
Cotoneaster horizontalis Rockspray cotoneaster F, GC L Tolerates wind, dry, poor soils, very pH adaptable.
Cytisus scoparius Scotchbroom Sp, Sc L Used for stabilizing sandy soils, pH adaptable, tolerates poor soils. Can become weedy.
Deutzia gracilis Slender deutzia Sp, Sc L Well adapted to many conditions.
Diervilla sessilifolia Southern bush-honeysuckle N H, Sc L Tolerates exposed sites.
Euonymus alatus Fall firebush, winged euonymus Sp, Sc L Not tolerant of drought or waterlogged conditions.
Euonymus americanus American euonymus, Hearts-a-bustin, Strawberry Bush N Sp, H, Sc L Very insect susceptible. Very adaptable to wet or dry soil conditions.
Forsythia x intermedia Border forsythia Sp, Sc L Tolerant of urban conditions, pH adaptable.
Hamamelis vernalis Vernal witchhazel Sp, Sc L Tolerates poorly drained soils.
Hamamelis virginiana Common witchhazel Sp, Sc L Very adaptable to climatic conditions.
Hibiscus syriacus Rose-of-Sharon N Sp, Sc L Well adapted to many conditions. Susceptible to insect problems.
Hydrangea arborescens Smooth hydrangea Sp, Sc L Suckers freely from roots, will cover large areas if not maintained.
Hydrangea macrophylla Bigleaf hydrangea N Sp, Sc L Plant parts are poisonous. Tolerates shade.
Hydrangea paniculata P.G. hydrangea, panicle hydrangea Sp, Sc L Plant parts are poisonous. Very adaptable.
Hydrangea quercifolia Oakleaf hydrangea Sp, F, GC L Plant parts are poisonous. Tolerates shade. Rugged plant.
Hypericum prolificum St. Johnswort N Sp, Sc L Excellent plant for dry, heavy soils.
Ilex verticillata Winterberry holly Sp, Sc L Tolerates wet soils.
Itea virginica Virginia sweetspire N Sp, H L Tolerates wet soils.
Jasminum nudiflorum Winter jasmine N Sp,Sc L Drought tolerant, used in erosion control.
Lagerstroemia indica Crapemyrtle Sc L Tolerant of drought and urban conditions, not cold tolerant.
Leucothoe racemosa Sweetbells leucothoe H H Tolerates wide range of conditions
Ligustrum vulgare Cimmon privet, Hedge privet N H M Subject to winter dieback in cold exposed areas. Weedy and invasive.
Ligustrum x vicaryi Golden Vicary privet Sc M Golden yellow leaves will become greenish yellow if grown in shade.
Lindera benzoin Spicebush Sp, Sc L Tolerates shade. Has scented foliage.
Lonicera fragrantissima Winter Honeysuckle N Sc, Sp L Adapts to many soils and pH levels. Weedy
Lonicera tatarica Tatarian Honeysuckle Sp, Sc L Has escaped cultivation and become a weed in some areas
Philadelphus coronarius Sweet mockorange Sc, Sp L Adapts to almost any soil condition.
Physocarpus opulifolius Nine-bark Sp, Sc L Drought resistant, pH adaptable.
Physocarpus opulifolius Nine-bark Sp, Sc L Drought resistant, pH adaptable.
Poncirus trifoliata Hardy-orange N Sp, F L Handle thorny stems with care. Soil adaptable.
Potentilla fruticosa Shrubby cinquefoil Sp, H, F L Adapts poorly to hot, humid locations.
Prunus glandulosa Flowering almond N Sp, Sc L Very adaptable, showy. Weedy.
Rhododendron calendulaceum Flame azalea Y Sp, Sc M Requires moist acidic soil.
Rhododendron periclymenoides Pinxterbloom azalea N Sp, Sc M Tolerates more shade than most deciduous azaleas.
Rhododendron priniphyllum Roseshell azalea N Sc, Sp M Will tolerate higher pH levels than most deciduous azaleas.
Rhus copallina Shining sumac N Sc L Useful for dry, rocky sites.
Rhus glabra Smooth sumac N Sc, Sp L Tolerates drought and poor soil conditions.
Rhus typhina Staghorn sumac N Sp, H L Suitable for colder climates, otherwise similar to above species.
Rosa carolina Carolina rose N Sp L Tolerates wet soil conditions.
Rosa hybrids Garden roses (florabundas, grandifloras & hydbrid teas) N Sp, H, Sc Very insect and disease susceptible. Thorny stems.
Rosa rugosa Rugose rose Sp, H, Sc L Tolerates wind, poor soils and seaside conditions.
Rosa virginiana Virginia rose Sp, Sc L Tolerates wind, poor soils and seaside conditions.
Salix discolor Pussywillow Sc, Sp L Tolerates poorly-drained soils. Short lived.
Sambucus canadensis Elderberry N Sp, F L Tolerates both wet and dry soils.
Spirea nipponica Nippon spirea N Sp, Sc L Adapts well to urban conditions.
Spirea prunifolia Bridalwreath spirea N Sp, F L Heavy pruning will destroy this shrub’s natural arching habit.
Spirea x bumalda Bumald spirea Sp, Sc L Needs well drained soil.
Spirea x vanhouttei Vanhoutte spirea Sp, Sc L Very adaptable.
Symphoricarpus orbiculatus Indian coralberry Sp, Sc L Shade tolerant.
Syringa persica Persian lilac Sp, Sc L Heat tolerant.
Syringa vulgaris Common lilac N Sc, H L Not heat tolerant. Prone to powdery mildew in humid areas. Requires soils with high pH.
Vaccinium angustifolia Lowbush blueberry Sc, H L Prized for its berries.
Vaccinium corymbosum Highbush blueberry Sp, Sc L Tolerates acid, sandy soil conditions. Wildlife food.
Vaccinium stamineum Deerberry N Sc, Sp L Tolerates dry, poor soils.
Viburnum acerifolium Mapleleaf viburnum N Sp, H, Sc L Tolerates shade and poor soils.
Viburnum carlesi Koreanspice viburnum N Sc L Early, fragrant flowers.
Viburnum dentatum Arrowwood viburnum N Sp, Sc L Tolerates high pH, heavy soils and cold temperatures.
Viburnum opulus European cranberry viburnum Sp, Sc L Tolerates wet soils, pH adaptable.
Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum Doublefile viburnum N Sc, Sp L Needs good drainage and full sun.
Viburnum trilobum Mapleleaf viburnum Sc, Sp L Not heat or drought tolerant.
Viburnum x burkwoodii Burkwood viburnum Sp, Sc L Heat and cold tolerant, adaptable to urban conditions.
Vitex angus-castus Chastetree; Vitex N Sp, H, Sc, L Adaptable to poor soils and dry sites.
Weigela florida Weigela F L Very tolerant to air pollution.