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Native shrubs to plant this fall

Since I wrote about the invasiveness and toxicity of nandina or heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) in July, several people have asked me about non-invasive shrubs they could plant in place of nandina. A recent post on the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program Facebook page offered several suggestions for native spring- and summer-flowering shrubs. All of these shrubs are hardy in USDA Zones 4-9. I selected three to highlight.

Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) is a deciduous shrub found in wet and dry thickets from Nova Scotia and Ontario south to Florida and Texas. This multi-stemmed shrub grows in a vase shape from 6 to 8 feet in height with a spread of 3 to 4 feet. White to pink flower clusters open in April. In summer, glossy, red fruits appear along the stems in dense clusters. The fruits remain on the plant into the winter. They are edible, but reported to be so astringent they can cause choking. The fruits can be made into jellies and jams. The oval, dark gree...

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