Shrubs of different sizes that feature attractive foliage, flowers and/or berries are an asset to your property. The options with shrubs are many and include placing shrubs close to a foundation, in a garden, in the form of a hedge or by themselves in the open. Many types of shrubs of an ornamental nature are available in the United States; some are native species, while others are cultivars from other continents.
The chenille plant (Acalypha hispida ) has the nickname of red-hot cattail, a reference to the flowers of this shrub that hang down from the branches. Chenille plant grows to 12 feet high under ideal conditions and has a spread of about 6 feet in larger specimens. Chenille plant has oval evergreen leaves as long as 9 inches and produces fluffy, brilliantly colored flowers called catkins that droop down and are sometimes 20 inches in length. The shrub comes from the East Indies, and depending on the cultivar, it will feature crimson, purple or red flowers. Chenille plant needs full sun in order to flower to its full potential and a humid climate to thrive outdoors. Water it frequently, and in areas where cold weather is common, plant it in a container and bring it to the warmer indoors before frost can kill it. You will have to mist the plant on a regular basis after bringing it into the house.
American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is a native shrub in states such as Maryland, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida and Arkansas. In the wild, American beautyberry will grow where the soil drains well and the woodlands are not too dense with trees. The shrub can be as tall as 8 feet, and it possesses green to yellow-green leaves as long as 8 inches. The minute purple flowers of spring will change into quarter-inch-wide magenta and purple berries. The berries circle the stem and form tightly packed clusters that last into the winter months. American beautyberry will grow in most types of soil as long as it is not waterlogged, and dry conditions do not hurt the shrub. Plant this shrub in full sun or shade; American beautyberry works well under pines or in mass plantings in the open.
If you have a spot on your acreage that has moist acidic soil, then consider planting witch-alder (Fothergilla major) on it. This shrub can grow in sun or shade and will reward you with both flowers and brilliant fall colors from its foliage. Witch-alder grows in the southeastern states and is versatile enough to be a foundation shrub or a plant that you place in the understory beneath larger trees. Witch-alder produces multiple stems, grows between 6 and 10 feet tall, and has rounded dark green leaves. The flowers are whitish with some pink hues, and the blooms will last for as long as three weeks. In the fall, the leaves can change to colors such as yellow, red and orange, with all of these colors sometimes on the same plant. Hybrids of witch-alder include one called Blue Mist, which according to the Floridata website has bluish-green leaves.