Shrubs are a key foundation planting for many gardens. They offer structure and organizing points; many also supply year-round color, as well as food and shelter for wildlife. But selecting the right shrub for your landscape and particular gardening need can be difficult. Luckily, the Better Homes and Gardens Plant Encyclopedia provides information that will help with both practical questions and design problem-solving. For starters, you can choose shrubs that are sized to fit your landscape -- dwarf, mid-size, or full-height varieties, for example. You may also look for shrubs based on both scientific or common name and find shrubs that work best for your particular site constraints, such as USDA Hardiness Zone and amount of sunlight. You can also ensure the success of your shrubs with information on growth habit and design potential. View a list of shrubs by common name or scientific name below.
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With so many different varieties to choose from, there's bound to be at least one that will fit in your landscape.
Carolina Allspice

With its fragrant spring flowers and lustrous leaves that turn yellow in fall, Carolina allspice qualifies as an all-star choice for urban, suburban, and native landscapes. Site this North American native shrub in a perennial garden or shrub border for multi-seasonal interest. Plant a row of these shrubs near a property line or around a patio and create a living screen. Put a specimen near the front door, patio, or deck to take advantage of the sweet banana-strawberry fragrance that radiates from its springtime flowers.

These blooming evergreen shrubs are the Southern belles of the plant world.
Butterfly bush

Drenching the air with a fruity scent, butterfly bush's flower spikes are an irresistible lure to butterflies and hummingbirds all summer long. The plants have an arching habit that's appealing especially as a background in informal flower borders. In warmer climates, butterfly bushes soon grow into trees and develop rugged trunks that peel.

To nurture butterfly bush through cold Northern winters, spread mulch up to 6 inches deep around the trunk. Plants will die down, but resprout in late spring. Prune to the ground to encourage new growth and a more fountainlike shape. Avoid fertilizing butterfly bush; extra-fertile soil fosters leafy growth rather than flower spikes. Remove spent flower spikes to encourage new shoots and flower buds.

Note: Butterfly bush can be an invasive pest in some areas; check local restrictions before planting it.

Fall brings out the best color in this group of trees and shrubs.
This deciduous plant has a dense habit and lustrous, dark-green foliage.

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Scarlet Buckeye

Red Buckeye is an attractive flowering North American native tree that develops clusters of bold red blooms in the spring. Mature plants can grow 15 feet tall. They prefer a sunny spot in the landscape, but do enjoy afternoon shade in the hot-summer areas. In the fall, this tree drops shiny seeds called buckeyes. While attractive, the seeds are poisonous and do not typically attract deer, squirrels, or other wildlife.

This evergreen shrub is so versatile in the landscape!
Grape Holly

This tough plant has fragrant yellow flowers in spring.