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, 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, 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.
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.
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-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.
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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- University of Kansas, Center for East Asian Studies: Barberry
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service: Dodonaea Viscosa (L.) Jacq., Florida Hopbush
- Arizona State University: Dodonea Viscosa
- Clemson University, Clemson Cooperative Extension: Loropetalum
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service: Mahonia Aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt., Hollyleaved Barberry