Low Shrubs

Image
Name
Description
Alder Leaved Buckthorn

Alder Leaved Buckthorn

Rhamnus alnifolia

  • Small bushy plant about 0.5m tall and wide
  • Heavily textured, dark green, simple leaf turns bright yellow in fall
  • Clusters of creamy flowers bloom in summer
  • Berries are a dramatic shiny black

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Birch Leaf Meadowsweet

Birch Leaf Meadowsweet

Spiraea betulifolia

  • Grows up to 0.5m in height
  • Forms thin open patches of slender branches
  • Attractive small leaves change from green to orange in the fall
  • Clusters of tiny white flowers form fragrant bunches in mid summer
  • Fruit is a dry powdery capsule

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Bracted Honeysuckle

Bracted Honeysuckle

Lonicera involucrata

  • 1.5m high and wide
  • Neat upright form with thick branches and fat buds
  • Older wood has peeling bark
  • Large coarse simple leaf gives the shrub a really lush appearance
  • Paired yellow flowers bloom very briefly in early summer and are surrounded by a scarlet bract which is much more ornamental than the flowers; bracts persist through to fall
  • Fruit is a shiny deep purple

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Common Juniper

Common Juniper

Juniperus communus

  • Variable spreading evergreen shrub, 0.5 to 1m high
  • Very dense branches
  • Needles are dark green, sharp with a white stripe on the underside that is unique to the common juniper
  • Blueberry-like cones
  • Two-year cones are dark blue, first-year cones are pale blue

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Common Wild Rose

Common Wild Rose

Rosa woodsii

  • Bushy shrub 1-1.5m tall
  • Red bark with thorns on the nodes; new growth is generally smooth (thornless)
  • Compound leaves, 5-9 leaflets, green turning a nice red in the fall
  • Single pink flower blooms mid to late summer
  • Mildly fragrant
  • Rose hips are an attractive winter feature

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Dwarf Raspberry 'Druby'

Dwarf Raspberry 'Druby'

Rubus arcticus Druby

  • Low, 15cm high by 0.5m wide
  • Mounding groundcover with lush green leaves that are nicely textured, deeply lobed
  • Delicate pink single flowers sit on top of the plant and bloom in early summer
  • Small aggregate red fruit

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Gooseberry

Gooseberry

Ribes oxyacanthoides

  • Small shrub roughly 1m high and wide
  • Thorny, pendulous branches
  • Fascinating growth habit
  • First woody plant to leaf out in spring; three lobed green leaves turn shiny purple in fall
  • Early blooming with small trumpet-like white flowers on the underside of the branches
  • Pretty little purple berries are edible but not much fun to pick

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Grey Leaf Willow

Grey Leaf Willow

Salix glauca

  • Low to 1m high and wide
  • Wide thin branching
  • Branches vary from smooth to very hairy
  • Thin grey leaves

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Hoary Willow

Hoary Willow

Salix candida

  • Bushy shrub to 1m high, usually as wide
  • Very hairy twigs in the winter
  • Thick textured leaf, silver on top with a green underside
  • Hairy catkin in the spring
  • Fall colour yellow

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Jasper Willow

Jasper Willow

Salix barrattiana

  • Low to 0.5 m high and wide
  • Perfect form with open, wide, well-spaced branching
  • Broad silver leaves are hairy
  • Early spring catkin has a purple stamen
  • Thick yellow bud at the end of a stiff branch

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Labrador Tea (Trial)

Labrador Tea (Trial)

Ledum groendlandicum

  • Low shrub 0.5m high
  • Grows in dense patches and suckers freely
  • Small evergreen leaves are narrow and leathery, persisting through the winter
  • Clusters of white flowers at the ends of branches bloom in mid summer
  • Seed in yellow capsule is very small and dust-like

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Low Bush Cranberry (Trial)

Low Bush Cranberry (Trial)

Viburnum edule

  • Low spreading shrub to 1m tall
  • Branches are red with large red buds
  • Shallow three-lobed leaves are dark green and turn a brilliant red in the fall
  • White flowers in small rounded clusters at the tips of the branches bloom in mid summer
  • Bright red berry-like drupes are strongly scented and appear in fall

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Oregon Grape / Creeping Mahonia

Oregon Grape / Creeping Mahonia

Mahonia repens

  • Low trailing shrub up to 0.25m in height
  • Large spiny, stiff, holly-like leaves persist through the winter
  • Leaves evergreen, but do turn brown by spring in this region
  • Clusters of showy bright yellow flowers bloom in spring
  • Large clusters of powdery blue fruit in the fall appear at the tips of the branches

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Potentilla / Shrubby Cinquefoil

Potentilla / Shrubby Cinquefoil

Potentilla fruticosa

  • Small dense shrub 0.3 to 1m tall
  • Grows in a nice tight round ball
  • Native seed sourced potentillas have hairy leaves, giving a silver cast to the foliage; this is distinctive from all of the cultivar varieties
  • Abundant yellow flowers bloom heavily mid to late summer, up and into frost

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Powderface Willow

Powderface Willow

Salix commutata

  • Very upright parallel branching to 1m high and narrow to only 0.5m wide
  • Hairy grey branches through winter
  • Silver narrow leaf
  • Small catkin shows later in summer and persists

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Prairie Rose

Prairie Rose

Rosa arkansana

  • Low growing up to 0.25m under cultivation (grow only 15cm in the wild)
  • Thin open habit
  • Short red thorny branches
  • Compound leaves, 9-11 leaflets, green turning a nice red in fall
  • Single pink flower which fades to white within a day of blooming mid to late summer
  • Mildly fragrant
  • Big fat hips at the tip of the branch

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Prickly Rose

Prickly Rose

Rosa acicularis

  • 1 to 2m in height with variable spread
  • Bright red twigs, thorny to the very tip
  • Compound leaves, 5-7 leaflets, green turning a nice red in the fall
  • Single pink flowers bloom in mid to late summer
  • Mildly fragrant
  • Fruit is a bright red hip high in vitamin C and very ornamental in mid winter

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Russet / Canada Buffaloberry

Russet / Canada Buffaloberry

Shepherdia canadensis

  • Branchy shrub from 1m to 1.5m high
  • Upright parallel growth pattern
  • New growth is uniquely speckled with gold-like flecks
  • Underside of long narrow leaves also have distinctive reddish-brown speckles, giving rise to its common name Russet Buffaloberry
  • Tiny yellow flowers bloom in early spring; female and male flowers on separate plants
  • Fruit is red and ripens between the end of June and early July

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Sagebrush

Sagebrush

Artemisia cana

  • 0.5 to 1.5m high
  • Older wood is twisted and shredded
  • Long, narrow leaves are bright silver with a hairy texture and persist through the winter
  • Flowers are tiny and yellow, tight along the stems
  • Bloom in hot dry summer

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Snowberry

Snowberry

Symphoricarpus albus

  • Low branching shrub to 1m tall
  • Compact round form, especially in summer
  • Fine branches with reddish-brown wood which turns grey and shredded as it ages
  • Leaves are profuse and bluey-green with wavy margins
  • Petite pinkish-white flowers bloom in summer
  • Fruit is pillowy and pure white; persists through winter

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Thimbleberry

Thimbleberry

Rubus parviflorus

  • Low, 0.5-1m high
  • Forms dense thickets
  • Large vigorous green leaves, 10-20cm across
  • Large showy bright white flowers, 5cm across, bloom in later summer
  • Sizeable raspberry-like fruit edible but bland

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

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Three Lobed Sumac (Trial)

Rhus trilobata

  • Rounded shrub to 1m high
  • Smooth grey bark with a distinctive aroma when bruised
  • Leaves are an intense green with three lobes that turn an orange fall colour on the prairies
  • Clusters of small yellow flowers tight to the branches bloom in early spring before the leaves
  • Round red fruit is covered with a waxy coating

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Trailing Raspberry (Trial)

Trailing Raspberry (Trial)

Rubus pedatus

  • Low creeping groundcover plant, travels by runners
  • Compound leaf with interesting texture with three to five leaflets
  • Small white flowers give way to small aggregate type red fruit

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Western Snowberry

Western Snowberry

Symphoricarpus occidentalis

  • Low branching shrub to 1m tall
  • Compact round form, especially in the summer
  • Fine branches with reddish-brown wood which turns greys and shredded as it ages
  • Leaves are profuse and bluey-green with wavy margins
  • Petite pinkish-white flowers bloom in summer
  • Fruit is pillowy and pure white; persists throughout the winter

Landscape Use

Special Conditions

Wild Red Raspberry

Wild Red Raspberry

Rubus idaeus

  • Multiple canes to 1m high
  • Fine thorns on the branches give a hairy appearance in the winter
  • Trifoliate leaf, green in the summer turning orange to red in the fall
  • Small white flower single, but in clusters, bloom on second year wood in summer
  • Aggregate red fruit appears in late summer and early fall

Landscape Use

Special Conditions