We had our first freeze (28 degrees F) this morning in Des Moines, but that doesn’t mean an end to brilliant color in the landscape. Here are shots taken this week of several shrubs in my landscape that provide plenty of fall color.
One of my favorite shrubs is Virginia sweetspire (Itea ‘Little Henry’), shown here with its brilliant red fall color. This shrub forms a spreading clump just under 3 feet tall. It also earns its keep earlier in the summer with drooping wands of white flowers displayed on a background of medium green foliage.
For a splash of fall gold, I can rely on Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus), also called sweetshrub or sweet Betsy, for the fragrance of its springtime blooms. The maroon flowers are subdued in visual impact, but their spicy scents waft through the late spring garden. Often it develops interesting seed pods in addition to its clear yellow fall color.
Beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma) lights up the fall landscape with its irridescent purple berries borne on arching stems covered with chartreuse leaves. The combination is electric!
Seven son flower (Heptacodium miconioides) is a late-season bloomer with panicles of white flowers. By late October its blooms have faded, but the show continues with deep pink bracts that hang through the end of fall.