Red Evergreen Shrubs

Written by beth asher
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Red Evergreen Shrubs
Red shrubs provide garden accents. (autumn leaves image by Alison Bowden from

Evergreen shrubs add year-round interest to a landscape and carry the garden through dull winter months when nothing or not much blooms. Red varieties provide a contrast to greens and can be used as accents.

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Chinese Fringelfower

Chinese Fringelfower, Loropetalum chinense, belongs to the witch-hazel family. The cultivars Shang-hi Purple Diamond and Shang-lo Purple Pixie have red-purple foliage that can revert to green in hot weather. Ever Red Sunset holds its colour well. All of the varieties have flowers that are considered spectacular.

Heavenly Bamboo

Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina domestica, Atropurpurea Nana, has bright scarlet winter foliage but its growing season foliage is green. It can reach 7 feet high and 3 feet wide when not pruned.

Nandina has scarlet berries in addition to red winter foliage.
Nandina has scarlet berries in addition to red winter foliage. (nandina berries image by Jana Lumley from

Japanese Barberry

Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii, forms arching mounds up to 7 feet wide and 6 feet tall. Burgundy Rosy Glow and purple Dart's Red Lady are red-purple cultivars. Helmond Pillar is a columnar form that grows 5 feet high and 2 feet wide.

Red Evergreen Shrubs
Berberis has purple-red foliage and small scarlet berries. (Berberis image by Marian Maier from

Hollyleaved Barberry

New foliage on hollyleaved barberries, Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt., are red and fade to bronze-green. Dark green mature foliage turns burgundy red in winter. These plants also are known as Oregon grape hollies.

Red Evergreen Shrubs
Mahonia has red new foliage that fades to bronze-green. (MAHONIA image by asb from


Red-tip, Japanese and Chinese photinias sport bright red or bronze-purple new growth that matures to green. Plant heights vary from 10 to 30 feet. Named cultivars such as Red Robin display brighter reds.

Red Evergreen Shrubs
Photinia has showy flower spikes in addition to red new foliage. (photinia flower image by Alison Bowden from

Purple Hopbush

Hopbush, Dodonaea viscosa, is a multiple-trunk, 20-foot evergreen. The Purpurea and Saratoga cultivars have deep purple foliage, but hot weather makes Purpurea revert to green.

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