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Winter Color

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January 3, 2021
I look forward every winter to those landscape plants that are beautifully decorated with their brilliant red berries. Let’s take a look at a couple of my favorites. Savannah holly is a hybrid of the native American holly and has a natural pyramidal growth habit which is loose and open. This holly is versatile in the landscape and is used for specimens. These plants are moderately-fast growing shrubs, and are actually small trees, reaching up to 35 feet tall. Savannah holly foliage is dull light green and soft spines on the leaf edges. The real show stoppers are the berries from November through March. The tight clusters of berries are formed towards the ends of the branches. My other favorite is pyracantha with its colorful berries that add beauty to any winter landscape. The botanical name for pyracantha literally means firethorn, for which it is commonly known. This plant certainly lives up to this name with the sharp and painful thorns on almost all of the branches. The arching branching habit is accentuated by the production of red-orange berries towards the ends. The heavy fruit clusters seem to drip off the branches. The fruit clusters are prominent from the late fall all the way through to the spring season. Pyracantha is suitable all across Mississippi. Both of these plants will supply colorful snacks for the birds all winter. I hope you enjoy nature’s landscape decorations as much as I do. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.


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