Planting shrubs is an easy way to keep your landscape in order. As shaped hedges or borders, shrubs can accentuate focal points, act as natural borders to your property, or decorate the lawn with beautiful flowers and attractive foliage. In addition to providing year-round greenery, top-performing shrubs are low-maintenance. They require little water once they are established and can withstand full sun. Their roots are not prone to rot, and won’t wound easily or get tangled. Versatile and varied, they can form one element of a design that includes other plants, such as perennials and trees, or be used to landscape an entire garden.
1. Yellow Bells
Yellow bells are a large mounding evergreen shrubs that quickly grows 10-15 ft. tall, and that can eventually grow into a small tree to 25 ft. high. Bright green pinnately divided leaves have 5-7 leaflets with coarsely toothed margins. Showy bright yellow trumpet-shaped flowers occur in large clusters during spring and intermittently through summer. Long cylindrical seed pods become conspicuous during the summer.
2. Pink-flowering sumac
The pink-flowering sumac is a medium size evergreen shrub growing with a dense branching habit, 4-8 ft. tall, 5-6 ft. wide. Its broadly elliptic leaves are leathery in texture, pale bluish-green in color, have wavy margins and distinctive veins. Colorful bright rose-pink flowers grow in terminal clusters in late winter to early spring and attract hummingbirds. Large flattened berry-type fruit are produced in summer.
3. Pink flowering currant
The Pink flowering currant is a deciduous shrub growing with an upright branching habit, 6-12 ft. tall, 5-6 ft. wide. Medium green leaves have a wrinkled surface marked by many veins and have heavily lobed margins. Large pendulous pink and white flowers grow in 4-6 in. long pendulous clusters in early spring.
4. Lester Rowntree manzanita
The Lester Rowntree manzanita grows into a medium to large shrub with a mounding habit, 8-10 ft. tall and 10-15 ft. wide. It has attractive colorful pink flowers and new foliage growth with reddish tips during the winter; mature leaves are slate gray-green. Large clusters of red-blushed fruit mature in early spring and are among the most attractive of the manzanitas.
Also Read: Trees With Pink Flowers
5. Flannel bush
The California glory flannel bush is the most spectacular flowering shrubs among our cultivated garden plants. As seen in the images, the springtime flowering cycle covers the stems and branches with an abundant display of large star shaped yellow flowers. This cultivar grows very fast and develops an upright form when young, 15-20 ft. tall, and as wide. Leaves grow 1-2 in. across with 3 round lobes. Flowers are clear yellow above, rusty brown below.
6. Dwarf strawberry
The Dwarf strawberry tree grows into a large shrub, slowly reaching 8-12 ft. tall and as wide. It has dense, evergreen foliage comprised of leathery dark green leaves with toothed margins, 2-3 in. long. Clusters of white to pink urn-shaped flowers are attractive in late fall and early winter.
7. Catalina cherry
The Catalina cherry grows into a large evergreen shrub to low branching tree, capable of reaching 25-30 ft. tall, spreading 6-20 ft. wide. Its dark glossy green leaves grow 3-5 in. long; attractive spikes of creamy-white flowers grow in spring. Numerous red berry-like fruits with large seeds are produced in summer and mature to black and are valued by wildlife.
8. Western redbud
The western redbud is one of the premier flowering plants of our California flora. It grows into a large deciduous shrub or small tree and can reach 10-20 ft. tall and 10-15 ft. wide. Round green leaves, 2-3 in. wide are heart-shaped at the base. Showy clusters of pea-shaped flowers occur in early spring and range in color from light to deep magenta. Flat 2-3 in. long seedpods mature through spring and summer and persist while the plant is deciduous in winter.
Also Read: Fast Growing Evergreen Shrubs
9. Long John grevillea
Long John grevillea is a tall upright growing evergreen shrub with an with a soft and billowy appearance. Mature plants become quite large and can reach heights of 10-15 ft. and spread 10-15 ft. across. Foliage consists of finely divided dark green leaves that are soft and pliable. Large numbers of showy light pink and red flowers occur in mid to late spring. This is a fast growing cultivar that needs space to mature and works well for screening and in mixed tree and shrub plantings.
10. Cape plumbago
The cape plumbago is a large vining evergreen shrub with a mounding habit and easily growing 6-8 ft. tall, spreading 8-12 ft. wide. Foliage is comprised of thin medium green leaves, 2 in. long. Showy light blue flowers grow in large 3-4 inch clusters for many months from early spring through fall.
11. Sweet Olive
The sweet olive brings perhaps the best fragrance of any plant to our residential gardens and landscapes. It grows into a large evergreen shrub or small tree, 12-15 ft. tall, 8-10 ft. wide. Clusters of tiny cream colored flowers with abundant fragrance occur in both spring and fall.
Also Read: Types of Jasmine Varieties
12. Island bush poppy
Island bush poppy is a medium to large evergreen shrub with a mounding habit growing 6-10 ft. tall and as wide. Foliage is comprised of 3-5 in. long oval leaves that are pale blue-green; intense sulphur-yellow flowers are cupped upward, reach 2-3 in. across and are very showy during spring. It is a stunning flowering accent plants during its spring flowering cycle, and is otherwise appreciated for its soft pale green foliage color. This can be a temperamental plant to poor drainage and should be planted on slopes or in coarse rocky and sandy soils to insure good drainage.
13. Australian tea tree
The Australian tea tree slowly grows with a twisting branching habit into a large evergreen shrub or small tree growing 15-25 ft. tall with an equal spread. Its small round leaves are pale olive-green; numerous white flowers occur in spring and are modestly showy. Leaves, trunks and branches are the most interesting and valued parts of this plant; this plant can become a wonderful sculptural feature in our Inland Empire gardens.
14. Pink melaleuca
The pink melaleuca grows into large shrub to small tree, 10-18 ft. high, 15-20 ft. wide, often growing with a sprawling habit. Branching develops an interesting twisted character and is covered with light colored papery bark. Medium green leaves are elliptical, to 1 in. long; showy white to pink flowers occur in clusters during early summer.
15. Hollyleaf cherry
The hollyleaf cherry is the most widely distributed subspecies of the native holly in California. It grows in the chaparral, sage scrub and oak woodland plant communities. Rounded leaves are deep green and have strongly serrated margins; large clusters of softly fragrant cream colored flowers occur in spring. Many fruit are produced each year that attract birds and other wildlife.
Also Read: Different Types of Ornamental Grasses
16. Wild olive
The wild olive, also known as Texas olive grows into a large evergreen shrub or low branching tree that can commonly reaches 10-12 ft. tall and as wide. Large, 5 in. long leaves are medium green above, pale green below and covered with numerous short hairs that produce a rough surface. Showy white flowers with yellow centers are 1 1/2 in. in size and occur in clusters at the ends of branches in early spring; large yellow-green olive-like fruit mature in summer.
17. Bigberry Manzanita
The Bigberry manzanita is native to the coastal and inland foothills of California from the Bay Area to Mexico. It is one of the largest of our native manzanitas and commonly grows into a distinctive evergreen shrub with pale gray-green foliage color, mahogany-brown bark and a bold branching structure. Plants have a mounding form, 12-15 ft. high, 15-20 ft. wide. Clusters of showy white flowers occur in spring to be followed by hard 1/2 in. diameter red-brown berries.
18. Blue elderberry
Blue elderberry is a small to medium size deciduous tree native to the coastal sage scrub, southern oak woodland and chaparral plant communities across California. It has light green foliage and produces large umbels of creamy-white flowers in spring; dark blue berries mature in summer and are favored by birds. It tolerates many soil types, including calcareous, and survives extended periods of drought by shedding leaves under stress. Plants that become established in deeper soils and receive greater moisture will grow to larger sizes and produce a greater abundance of flowers and berries.
19. Lemonade berry
The Lemonade berry grows into a large evergreen shrub with flexible stems and sprawling habit to 25 ft. tall and as wide. Thick dark green leaves have grow 1-2 in. long; some have blunt teeth on margins. Attractive clusters of white to rose colored flowers are noticeable in late winter to early spring. The hard fruit are often of curious interest as they are covered with a fuzzy coating that tastes of bitter lemon.
Also Read: White Flowers Types
20. Mescal bean
The Mescal bean, also known as Texas mountain laurel, slowly grows into a large evergreen shrub or small tree, eventually 15-20 ft. tall, 10-15 ft. wide. Dark shiny green leaves that are pinnately divided into 1-2 in. long leaflets; colorful clusters of highly fragrant violet pea-shaped flowers occur in early spring. Numerous silver-gray bean-like pods grow 2-5 in. long, persist for several months and contain highly poisonous seeds.
21. Moonlight grevillea
Moonlight grevillea is a robust evergreen shrub that grows with an upright habit 10-12 ft. tall and 6-8 ft. wide. Finely cut leaves are medium green, pinnately divided into long linear segments with sharp points that produce a feathery foliage appearance. Large cylindrical inflorescences of ivory-color flowers grow 6 in. long and provide striking accent character during winter and intermittently throughout the year.
22. Sugar bush
Sugar bush is a large evergreen shrub with a dense foliage habit that commonly grows 10-15 ft. high and as wide. However, some long lived plants have developed into small trees with twisting trunks up to 35 ft. tall. Thick leaves are 1-3 in. long, deep glossy green and have a pointed apex. Attractive clusters of cream to pink colored flowers are showy in early spring and are followed by clusters of large flattened berries.