Top 3 Wisconsin Landscape Plants Attractive All Year Long
Many Wisconsin gardeners believe four-season interest means they’re limited to evergreens, but there are many other options! The three plants listed below are top favorites because they have either unique berries, bark or other interesting element in the winter – and they’re not evergreens!
1. Seven-Son Flower (Heptacodium miconioides) has glossy leaves that emerge and remain attractive all season. Fragrant flowers bloom late in the season, followed by small fruits surrounded by a bright red/magenta calyx produces a late fall display. Light brown exfoliating bark adds winter interest.
Zone: 5 to 9 Height: 15-20 feet Spread: 8-10 feet Attracts: Hummingbirds
2. Vernal Witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis) is an early-flowering shrub. The orange-red flowers have strap-like petals that curl inward on chilly days (an adaptive mechanism to protect from freezing). The oval-shaped leaves turn a golden yellow/orange in fall and often hang on through winter.
Zone: 4 to 8 Height: 6-10 feet Spread: 8-15 feet Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Clay Soil
3. Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa ‘Autumn Magic’) exhibits white flower clusters in spring and dark green leaves through summer. The astringent berries contain about 3X MORE ANTIOXIDANTS than blueberries! Excellent fall color ranges from bright orange to reddish-purple. Fruit clusters persist into January.
Zone: 3 to 8 Height: 3-6 feet Spread: 4-7 feet Suggested Use: Natural, Rain Garden