Many people are attracted to Burning Bush for the red fall color, however this plant has been deemed invasive in New York as well as many other states. It is a real threat to natural areas as it crowds out our native shrubs, many of which offer important habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Photo credit: Kristine Paulus via VisualHunt.com / CC BY
Fothergilla is a wonderful plant however not widely used. It doesn’t seem to receive much press like many flowering shrubs but it is a native plant that deserves attention. Growing in a pot this plant is rather shy, holding back its many wonderful features. Once planted in your garden you will not be disappointed. Unique bottle-brush white flowers cover this plant in the early spring before the leaves are produced which are attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. After that it has thick leathery, textured foliage which remains attractive all season offering great cover to the birds. In the fall is the real show when the foliage changes to exquisite shades of yellow, orange and red lasting for several weeks. It is quite adaptable to various soils, tolerating both wet and dry conditions as well as full sun to quite a bit of shade.
Photo credit: HorsePunchKid via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Try Fothergilla for something different in your garden that is good for nature and offers that great fall color. There are cultivars available such as ‘Mount Airy’ which grows more compact and ‘Blue Shadow’ which offers striking dusty blue-green foliage throughout the summer.