LEAFLET NO: 635
Revised 9/93 -- Author Reviewed 4/96

SHRUBS 4-8' FOR NORTH CAROLINA LANDSCAPES

M.A. (Kim) Powell
Extension Horticultural Specialist
Department of Horticultural Science
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
North Carolina State University

Shrubs in this category are useful in landscape situations as hedges, small screens, accent plants, large mass plantings, and large foundation shrubs. These plants can be pruned periodically and maintained at a reasonable size.

Mid-size hedges would utilize shrubs such as Abelia, Barberry, Inkberry and Yew. Informal screens could use the Hollies, Aucuba (in shade), Hibiscus or Rhododendrons. Pampas grass, Pieris, Viburnum and Mahonia could be strong accent plants because of their individual form, texture and plume or berry features. Mass plantings are easily accomplished by using the flowering shrubs, Kalmia, Azaleas, Weigila and Rhododendron.

The plants listed below vary quite drastically in their individual characteristics, but the one common denominator is that they can all be kept in a size range of 4-8' in height or smaller.


BOTANICAL NAME: Abelia grandiflora 
COMMON NAME:  GLOSSY ABELIA                  
HARDINESS ZONE:6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: moderate 
EXPOSURE:  sun or shade
TEXTURE:  medium to fine
FORM:  semi-global
HEIGHT:  4-6
SPREAD:  3-5'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Tolerant of adverse conditions, good low hedge 
  plant   

BOTANICAL NAME:  Aucuba japonica
COMMON NAME:     AUCUBA JAPONICA
HARDINESS ZONE:  7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE:  moderate
EXPOSURE:  shade
TEXTURE: coarse 
FORM:  irregular upright
HEIGHT:  4-5'
SPREAD:  3-4'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  'Varigata' is a favorite for shaded areas    


BOTANICAL NAME:  Berberis julianae
COMMON NAME:  WINTERGREEN BARBERRY 
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: slow 
EXPOSURE:  sun
TEXTURE:  fine to medium
FORM:  rounded/oval
HEIGHT:  5-6
SPREAD:  3-5
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Thorns, glossy green     foliage, hardiest of
  evergreen barberries   

BOTANICAL NAME: Buxus sempervirens 
COMMON NAME:  AMERICAN BOXWOOD     
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: moderate 
EXPOSURE:  part shade, shade
TEXTURE:  fine
FORM:  global
HEIGHT:  5-8'
SPREAD:  6-8'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Used in formal designs - requires pruning to 
  keep in bounds    

BOTANICAL NAME: Cortaderia selloana      
COMMON NAME:   PAMPAS GRASS   
HARDINESS ZONE:  7,8 
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: rapid 
EXPOSURE:  sun
TEXTURE:  fine
FORM:  open, grass-like
HEIGHT:  6-8'
SPREAD:  6-8'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Valued for fall plumes.  Should be pruned in 
  spring. 

BOTANICAL NAME: Euonymus kiautschovicus
COMMON NAME:  SPREADING EUONYMUS
HARDINESS ZONE:6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: rapid 
EXPOSURE:  sun or shade
TEXTURE:  medium to coarse
FORM:  open broad spread
HEIGHT: 5-8' 
SPREAD: 4-8' 
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Do not use near patios - Not as susceptible to
scale as other E. species     

BOTANICAL NAME: Fatsia japonica  
COMMON NAME:  JAPANESE FATSIA
HARDINESS ZONE:  7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: rapide 
EXPOSURE:  semi-shade, shade
TEXTURE:  coarse
FORM:  irregular
HEIGHT: 4-6' 
SPREAD: 4-6'    
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Useful in eastern N.C. as specimen plant     


BOTANICAL NAME:  Forsythia intermedia
COMMON NAME:  BORDER FORSYTHIA                              
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  D
GROWTH RATE:  rapid  
EXPOSURE:  sun
TEXTURE:  medium
FORM:  erect with arching branches
HEIGHT: 6-8'    
SPREAD: 6-8'    
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Valued for early spring flowers, several 
  cultivars available    

BOTANICAL NAME:  Gardenia jasminoides
COMMON NAME:  CAPE-JASMINE 
HARDINESS ZONE:  8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE:  moderate
EXPOSURE:  sun, part shade
TEXTURE:  medium
FORM:  rounded
HEIGHT:  4-6'
SPREAD:  4-5'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Fragrant white flowers.  Is not cold hardy.   

BOTANICAL NAME:  Hibiscus syriacus
COMMON NAME:  SHRUB ALTHEA-ROSE OF SHARON    
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  D
GROWTH RATE:  rapid 
EXPOSURE: sun 
TEXTURE:  medium
FORM:  upright
HEIGHT: 6-8' 
SPREAD: 7-8' 
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Showy summer flowers
               
BOTANICAL NAME:  Ilex cornuta
COMMON NAME:  DWARF BURFORD HOLLY 
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE:  moderate
EXPOSURE:  sun
TEXTURE:  coarse
FORM:  rounded
HEIGHT:  4-6'
SPREAD:  4-6'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: 'Burfordi nana'
                                   
BOTANICAL NAME: Ilex crenata 
COMMON NAME:   JAPANESE HOLLY 
HARDINESS ZONE:     6,7,8 
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: moderate 
EXPOSURE:  sun
TEXTURE:  medium to coarse
FORM:  rounded
HEIGHT:  4-6'
SPREAD:  3-5'  
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  'Hetzi', 'Rotundifolia'

BOTANICAL NAME:  Ilex glabra
COMMON NAME:  INKBERRY
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: moderate 
EXPOSURE:  sun
TEXTURE:  medium
FORM:  rounded
HEIGHT:  6-8'
SPREAD:  6-8'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Excellent for foundation, "naturalistic" 
  planting     

BOTANICAL NAME: Kalmia latifolia 
COMMON NAME:  MOUNTAIN LAUREL 
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: slow 
EXPOSURE: semi-shade 
TEXTURE:  medium
FORM:  upright
HEIGHT: 4-6' 
SPREAD: 3-5' 
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Native to many areas of N.C.  Good for 
  "naturalizing"    


BOTANICAL NAME: Lonicera nitida 
COMMON NAME:  BOX HONEYSUCKLE 
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: moderate 
EXPOSURE:  sun, semi-shade
TEXTURE:  fine
FORM:  oval rounded
HEIGHT:  5-6
SPREAD:  3-4
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Beautiful foliage-Several cultivars have 
  pendulating branches   

BOTANICAL NAME:  Mahonia bealei
COMMON NAME:   LEATHERLEAF MAHONIA
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE:   moderate  
EXPOSURE:  semi-shade
TEXTURE:  coarse
FORM:  upright
HEIGHT:  6-7' 
SPREAD:  2-3'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Good when used in contemporary designs  

BOTANICAL NAME:  Mahonia pinnata
COMMON NAME:  CALIFORNIA HOLLY GRAPE    
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE:  slow to moderate
EXPOSURE:  part shade    
TEXTURE:  medium to coarse
FORM:  upright branches
HEIGHT:  4-6'
SPREAD:  2-3'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Excellent specimen

BOTANICAL NAME:  Nandina domistica
COMMON NAME:  NANDINA
HARDINESS ZONE:  7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: moderate to fast 
EXPOSURE:  sun, semi-shade
TEXTURE:  medium to fine
FORM:  upright
HEIGHT:  4-6'
SPREAD:  2-3'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Produces beautiful clusters of berries in 
  winter  

BOTANICAL NAME: Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Varigatus'
COMMON NAME:   VARIGATED FALSE HOLLY    
HARDINESS ZONE:   6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE:  slow
EXPOSURE:  semi-shade
TEXTURE:  fine 
FORM:     rounded
HEIGHT:  4-6'
SPREAD:  4-5'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Good shrub for color contrast

BOTANICAL NAME:  Pieris floribunda 
COMMON NAME:  MOUNTAIN ANDROMEDA   
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: slow    
EXPOSURE:  shade
TEXTURE:  medium
FORM:  oval habit
HEIGHT:  4-6'
SPREAD:  3-4' 
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Very cold hardy.  Nice specimen plant    

BOTANICAL NAME: Pieris japonica 
COMMON NAME:  JAPANESE ANDROMEDA
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: slow 
EXPOSURE:  shade to part shade
TEXTURE:  medium
FORM:  upright, tight habit
HEIGHT:  4-6'
SPREAD:  4-6'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Several cultivars available

BOTANICAL NAME:  Raphiolepis umbellata
COMMON NAME:   YEDDO-HAWTHORN
HARDINESS ZONE:  7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: slow 
EXPOSURE:  sun
TEXTURE:  medium to coarse
FORM:  upright open
HEIGHT: 4-6' 
SPREAD: 5-6' 
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Rather open appearance-Good for coastal areas 
  of N.C. 

BOTANICAL NAME:  Rhododendron calendulaceum 
COMMON NAME:  FLAME AZALEA    
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7 
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE:  slow
EXPOSURE:  semi-shade
TEXTURE:  coarse
FORM:  upright
HEIGHT:  4-8'
SPREAD:  8-10'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Excellent for naturalistic setting-Native to 
  western N.C. 

BOTANICAL NAME:  Rhododendron carolinianum
COMMON NAME:   CAROLINA RHODODENDRON         
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE:  slow  
EXPOSURE:  semi-shade
TEXTURE:  coarse
FORM:  rounded
HEIGHT:  4-8'
SPREAD:  5-8'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Good for mass planting.  'Album'-white flowers     

BOTANICAL NAME: Rhododendron catawbiense  
COMMON NAME:  CATAWBA RHODODENDRON 
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: slow   
EXPOSURE:  semi-shade
TEXTURE:  medium to coarse
FORM:  upright branching
HEIGHT:  6-8'
SPREAD:  4-6'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Often becomes leggy when grown in unfavorable
locations.     Many cultivars available.
     
BOTANICAL NAME: Spirea cantoniensis 
COMMON NAME:  REEVES SPIREA 
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8 
GROUP:  D
GROWTH RATE: rapid 
EXPOSURE:  sun, part shade
TEXTURE:  medium
FORM:  upright branches, pendulating foliage
HEIGHT:  4-6'
SPREAD:  3-5
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Excellent spirea

BOTANICAL NAME:  Spirea thunbergii
COMMON NAME: THUNBERG SPIREA  
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  D
GROWTH RATE:  rapid
EXPOSURE:  sun, part shade
TEXTURE:  fine
FORM:  upright branches, pendulating foliage
HEIGHT:  3-5'
SPREAD:   3-4'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Very graceful in appearance

BOTANICAL NAME:  Taxus cuspidata   
COMMON NAME:    JAPANESE YEW                            
HARDINESS ZONE:  6, 7
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE:  slow
EXPOSURE:  part shade
TEXTURE:  fine
FORM:  vase-shaped
HEIGHT:  4-6' 
SPREAD:  5-7'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Tolerant of urban conditions. Very cold hardy.     

BOTANICAL NAME:  Viburnum suspensum     
COMMON NAME:  SANDANKWA VIBURNUM
HARDINESS ZONE:  8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE:  moderate
EXPOSURE:  sun or shade
TEXTURE:  coarse
FORM:  erect with arching limbs
HEIGHT:  4-6'
SPREAD:  4-6'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Excellent for coastal mass plantings    

BOTANICAL NAME:  Viburnum x burkwoodii 
COMMON NAME:   BURKWOOD VIBURNUM
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE:  slow
EXPOSURE:  sun or semi-shade
TEXTURE:  medium
FORM:  upright multi-stem
HEIGHT:  6-8'
SPREAD:  5-6
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Many cultivars available with fragrant flowers     

BOTANICAL NAME:  Weigela florida
COMMON NAME: WEIGILA 
HARDINESS ZONE:  6,7,8
GROUP:  D
GROWTH RATE: moderate 
EXPOSURE:  sun
TEXTURE:  coarse
FORM:  erect with spreading branches
HEIGHT:  6-8'
SPREAD:  6-8'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: Good border plant with flowers 

BOTANICAL NAME: Yucca gloriosa 
COMMON NAME:  MOUND-LILY YUCCA or SPANISH DAGGER
HARDINESS ZONE:  7,8     
GROUP:  E
GROWTH RATE: slow 
EXPOSURE:  sun
TEXTURE:  coarse
FORM:  erect
HEIGHT:  6-8'
SPREAD:  6-8'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS:  Gray-green foliage spine-tipped leaves

Published by
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service


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