Friday, April 15, 2011

Plant Picks

'Autumn Brilliance' serviceberry
x grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance'

The Morton Arboretum

Gardening with native plants has become a must in the urban landscape of New York City, not only because of zone hardiness, but they attract the most wildlife. When choosing native trees however, most reach a height that is overwhelming for a smaller city garden. One tree that fits the bill is the 'Autumn Brilliance' serviceberry. A hybrid of the native serviceberry, 'Autumn Brilliance' reaches a moderate height and spread and can tolerate partial shade. The showier blooms of this tree emerge in April along with the bronze-green foliage. The sweet red-purple berries ripen in June and are favorites of most birds, especially cedar waxwings. The real difference in this small tree, as the name 'Autumn Brilliance' denotes, is the bright crimson fall color.

The Missouri Botanical Garden

The Serviceberry has many common names; shadbush, shadblow (because the plant blooms in the early spring when the shad run), Juneberry, saskatoon, sugarplum. This particular hybrid, 'Autumn Brilliance', is also known as the apple serviceberry.

Zones: 4-9
Plant Type: Small tree, shrub
Size: 15 t0 25 feet high and wide
Light: Sun to partial shade
Growth rate: fast
Habit: round
Soil tolerances:
clay; sand; loam; acidic; well-drained
Drought tolerance:
Bloom: April; showy, fragrant white flowers
Key feature: fall color
Special attributes: attracts birds, easy care, improved pest and disease resistance
Landscape uses: container or planter, screen, highway median, deck or patio, specimen tree

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