Shrubs are a wonderful way to significantly reduce the amount of pollutants in the air, especially evergreens. Consider a tree or shrub as a centerpiece in your native garden; we may all breathe a little easier. This is a nice sampling to whet your appetite and get you started, 10 that are picked to thrive in zones 7 and 8.
Callicarpa americana (Beautyberry)
This bushy shrub grows 3-12 feet and will have tubular flowers from June to July. Its fruit will come August to November, and is good for over 10 species of birds. You can see this is a great addition for people wanting birds to frequent their garden. It will grow well in typical Georgia clay soils, and it is good for white tail deer to forage. It is a lovely addition to a landscape.
Calycanthus floridus (Sweetshrub)
This deciduous shrub grows 4-8 feet tall. Its shape will depend on your planting technique; Full Sun locations will make it tight and round, and Shady locations will make it a more loose open shape. Leaves are fragrant when crushed, and has spicy scented rusty red flowers from May to June. It needs moist soil. A worry-free shrub, it’s perfect for those who enjoy drying flowers and bark for potpourri.
Chionanthus virginica (Grancey Grey-beard)
This incredible deciduous shrub (or can be pruned to a small tree) is known for its light wispy fringe. This fringe is due to the airy white flowers that will come in May. It is very slow growing but will eventually top out around 15-20 feet. You’ll love its adaptability and ease in your garden, just be sure you give it full sun or partial shade.
Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet)
This shade tolerant deciduous shrub will grow up to 8 feet tall. It has lovely reddish-brown bark. This shrub is mainly used purely ornamental due to its incredibly fragrant white flowers that appear July to August. It will fruit from September to October, but has little value to livestock and deer.
Hamamelis virginiana (Witchhazel)
This deciduous shrub has numerous branches, and grows 15-25 feet tall. Caution should be took because of its thin bark, and protected from things like weed and lawn cutting. It will flower from September to October and fruit the next fall and is shade tolerant. Medicinal extracts have included salves prepared from the leaves, twigs, and bark. Twig extracts were believed to give occult powers.
Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf hydrangea)
Deciduous shrub that will grow 4-8 feet tall and is wider than it is high. It has dark green coarse leaves and white flowers that will turn pink and then tan in the course of its lifespan. Plant this in full shade to partial shade, and mulch well. This shrub has wonderful showy fall color from October to November.
Ilex opaca (American holly)
This is an evergreen shrub/small tree that will reach maturity at up to 50 feet. Greenish white flowers start in April and orange/red four-seeded fruits appear September to December. This fruit is loved by over 18 species of game and song birds, so this is a favorite for people creating birding sanctuaries. The holly is very shade tolerant but heavy shade will affect its crown area.
Kalmia latifolia (Mountain laurel)
This evergreen shrub grows from 10-30 feet and is shade intolerant. It will flower from March to June, and fruit from September to October. Its fruiting produces small round brown pods that release seeds. Medicinally it was used to treat bursitis, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. Its interesting crooked branches make it an interesting choice for your garden. Its wood is toxic to most livestock.
Rosa carolina (Carolina Rose)
This deciduous shrub was named for the state in which it was first verified. It will grow from 3-6 feet tall and will bloom pink flowers in May. This is a full sun loving rose. Hummingbird lovers should plant in groupings as it will attract them and butterflies. Rose hips (the fruit) are used as Vitamin C as they are 60 times as concentrated as lemons. Rose hips are also used as a treatment for upset stomachs, for making jelly, and for teas.
Rubus occidentalis (Black Raspberry)
This shrub’s berries turn red to black as they ripen. They berries are eaten by many birds and mammals. Its greenish white flowers come in May and the berries ripen in June and July. This grows on 4-6 foot canes