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Shrubs and Trees for Autumn Berries

Shrubs and trees with autumn berries bring colour and interest both from the berries themselves, and the birds they attract.

    Bird and Autumn Berries

Some of our favourites 

Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldi ‘Profusion’  has unusual violet colour bead like berries in mid autumn and also has lilac flowers in late summer and bronzed spring foliage - which colours again in autumn. Easy in sun or partial shade. (Shrub)

Euonymus europaes 'Red Cascade' This colourful selection of our native spindle has two special features. Firstly, its autumn leaf colour is spectacular, a vivid scarlet. Also, it produces far more fruits than on the original wild type. Each fruit features a rosy red capsule which opens to reveal bright orange seeds. Happy on most soils. (Shrub)

Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii One of the most startling of autumn fruiting plants, and unique in its colouring, the pea-sized bright blue berries are backed by pinkish magenta lobes. Bears highly scented white flowers in summer. Happy in most soils in a little shade, or in sun with adequate moist (Shrub)

Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldi           Euonymus europaes           Clerodendrum trichotomum

Hippophae rhamnoides 'Leikora' The sea buckthorn is a colourful British native plant with deciduous silver leaves and orange berries through the winter. It’s very adaptable and tolerant of poor soil, exposure and sea spray. ‘Leikora’ bears generous crops of tasty berries which are packed with vitamins A, C and E. It prefers plenty of sun and needs a male plant for pollination. (Shrub)

Skimmia japonica Skimmia are compact evergreen shrubs with simple, aromatic leaves and terminal panicles of small white or yellowish flowers followed, on fertilised female plants, by shiny red berries; most have male and female flowers on separate plants.

Cornus kousa chinensis An ideal specimen tree and for a small garden a  real showstopper with two main seasons of interest producing  tiny green flowers in June, which are surrounded by showy, creamy-white, petal-like bracts, that fade to lovely shades of pink as they age. In autumn the dark green leaves turn crimson-purple, and mature trees produce strawberry-like fruits.  A real winner. (Tree)

Hippophae rhamnoides           Skimmia japonica            Cornus kousa chinensis


Sambucus  nigra ‘Black Lace’ Has almost black, dissected foliage and from May to June pale pink, musk-scented blooms emerge from beautiful creamy-pink buds. It makes an excellent plant for all styles of gardens and has the added bonus of having blackish-red berries in autumn that when ripe can be used to make a wonderful wine (Shrub)

Pyracantha Saphyr Rouge is an upright, later spreading, evergreen plant with dark green leaves, spiny branches and bunches of small white flowers in late spring. These are followed by a profusion of bright orange-red berries in autumn. It is for these showy berries that it is grown, providing colour in the garden when there is little else. A favourite nesting place for birds. (Shrub)

Viburnum Davidii is one of the best evergreen viburnums. Its low spreading habit makes ideal groundcover, and its large, dark green leaves are a good background for the clusters of small white flowers. But the glory comes with the gorgeous turquoise autumn berries; cross-pollination provides the most fruits, so always plant at least three. Happiest in sun, but not too dry. (Shrub)

 Sambucus nigra           Pyracantha Saphyr Rouge Cadrou            Viburnum davidii

Cotoneaster 'Cornubia' Many cotoneasters carry a generous crop of red berries but few are as dependable and as tough as this one. It’s quite a large cultivar, with fruits which are carried in such huge clusters that they weigh down the branches. Partially evergreen, so the foliage to makes an attractive background to the fruits without hiding them. (Shrub)

Malus ‘Harvest Gold’ has a dense, rounded form and is easy to grow in a wide range of well-drained soils. It requires full sun or nearly so to produce the best fruit. It grows rather quickly and probably needs another cultivar of apple or crab apple somewhere nearby to cross-pollinate, which is usually not a problem in most parts of the country. (Tree)

Amelanchier lamarckii  are beautiful additions to a small garden, grown for their stunning white blossom in spring. Once the blossom fades it bears red to purple-black berries in autumn that the birds will love. They also have bronze-tinged young leaves that turn red in autumn. (Tree)

Cotoneaster Cornubia           Malus Harvest gold            Amelanchier Lamarckii

Sorbus (Rowan) Joseph Rock Rowan or mountain ash trees are popular trees for small gardens. Sorbus ‘Joseph Rock’ is an eye-catching variety with pinnately divided leaves that go orange, red and purple in autumn. It bears white flowers in spring and bright, butter-yellow berries in autumn.(Tree)

Ilex aquifolium J.C. van Tol This hardy native holly is unusual in that its glossy, dark green leaves are almost spineless and itself fertile so you don’t need a male. The bright red berries appear on dark purple stems in autumn and carry on through the winter months. An ideal small specimen plant (Tree)

Juniperus communis An easy to grow native conifer that can reach 6m but can be also grown as a shrub with berries that ripen to dark purple in the second year and are used in the making of gin. (Tree/shrub)

Sorbus Joseph Rock           Ilex Aquifoleum            Juniperus communis

Posted by Charlie Groves

Charlie is the manager at Groves Nurseries.  He is the 6th generation of C.W. Groves to run the garden centre. 

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