As I wait for autumn’s best colors to reach my neck of the woods here just to the northeast of Richmond, Virginia, I can’t help but reflect on my favorite plants for fall colors. I’m certain I’ve already done a post on this topic, but I neglected to mention two plants that are just stunning in the peak of fall, yet for some reason don’t get the attention they deserve.
A small tree/shrub native to the eastern United States, often taking on an upright vase shape, growing to 5-10 feet. Produces an abundance of red or black (depending on species) fruit in late summer/early fall that benefits wildlife, and foliage turns various shades of red/crimson. Tolerant of various soil types, does best in partial to full sun. Drought tolerant once established.
Oxydendrum arboreum (Sourwood)
A medium to large tree (30-50’) of pyramidal habit, Sourwood produces fragrant tassels of tiny white, bell-shaped flowers in mid-summer. Lustrous green leaves turn brilliant red in fall. Does well in acid soils in part to full sun. A good specimen tree for an open space in the yard.