Shrubs With Small, Oval Berries in the Fall

Written by christina delegans-bunch
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Shrubs are deciduous and evergreen species of plants that have a spreading formation and typically grow from 1 to 20 feet in height. Many landscapers use shrubs as ornamental plants for hedges, privacy screens, topiary and wind breaks. Some shrubs bear showy fruits, while others have inconspicuously tiny berries. Numerous types of shrubs produce small oval-shaped fruits during the fall.

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Paleleaf barberry (Berberis candidula) originates from central China. This small, rounded evergreen shrub grows to heights of 2 to 4 feet with a slightly wider spread. The glossy dark green foliage has a leathery appearance and spines along the edges. The small, oval, purple-hued fruit ripens August through September. Black jetbead (Rhodotypos scandens) is a quick growing, dense, deciduous shrub native to Japan. This clumping plant has coarse brilliant green leaves with an opposite arrangement. The lustrous black fruits have an oval form and ripen in October.

North America

Inkberry (Ilex glabra) is a 4- to 8-foot-tall small evergreen shrub endemic to eastern and south central areas in the United States. This erect spreading shrub develops shiny deep green foliage with alternate leaf formations. Small black oval fruits appear in September and stay on the plant until spring. Mapleleaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium) is a small deciduous shrub with an upright configuration. This native of the eastern United States has simple ovate leaves that grow in an opposite arrangement. The oval-shaped black fruit of the mapleleaf viburnum ripens in September.


Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) is a large deciduous shrub endemic to southern Europe and parts of the Himalayas. This Elaeagnaceae plant family member has dull green to greyish-green simple leaves with an alternate form. The small, oval, September fruits have a yellow tone covered by silver scales. European euonymus (Eyonymus europaeus) is an upright deciduous shrub that belongs to the Celastraceae plant family. This 12- to 30-foot-tall shrub has a rapid growth rate and drab green simple leaves. The showy, small, oval-shaped, pinkish-red fruit matures in September.


Carissa (Carissa macrocarpa) is a rapid growing woody shrub with a spreading formation indigenous to Natal, South Africa. This evergreen plant ranges in height from 15 to 18 feet tall with broad ovate leaves in an opposite arrangement. The oval to oblong immature green fruit ripens to a brilliant magenta tone. Miracle berry plant (Synsepalum dulcificum) is a tender evergreen shrub typically grown as a houseplant. This 20-foot-tall native African shrub resembles an azalea plant and produces an extraordinary berry that has the ability to change sour tasting foods to sweet for up to an hour. The miracle berry has a small oval shape and a dark reddish-purple tone.

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