List of Shrub Bushes

Many assorted shrubs can grow into the size of a large bush, with some often making it as high as some small trees. Such shrubs may be native to the United States or be introduced species, brought here mostly for ornamental purposes. Some of these shrubs are high on the list as landscaping choices, able to stand out on their own or as part of a hedge or a shrub border.

Smooth Sumac

Smooth sumac exists in most of the lower 48 states as well as southern parts of Canada and northern areas of Mexico. The species has ornamental appeal, providing you with flowers, fruit and bright fall foliage. Wildlife flock to this type of sumac to eat the fruits and its root system can prevent erosion as a side benefit. Smooth sumac can multiply by the many seeds it produces but also will form large colonies by suckering from its roots, sending up offshoots where it grows. Smooth sumac can be 15 feet tall and 15 feet in width. The shrub will grow wherever it gets sun and the ground is not waterlogged. Common along roadsides, smooth sumac withstands pollution and salt spray. The compound leaves can be 18 inches long and contain up to 31 individual leaflets on one stem. Green-yellow flowers bloom by June and change to bright red fruits. People can use the fruit to create a sort of lemonade-like drink or opt to eat them fresh, but since the sumacs are part of the Cashew family, anyone with allergies related to that group of plants should avoid sumac fruit.


Arborvitae goes by many names, among them white cedar and American arborvitae. The shrub is native to eastern sections of Canada and southward into the northern parts of New England, New York State and around the Great Lakes. Arborvitae features leaves resembling scales arranged on the twigs almost like overlapping shingles, states the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website. Arborvitae requires damp alkaline soil to flourish but can exist in many kinds of ground as long as it gets full to partial sunshine. This species comes in many cultivars that fulfill such landscaping needs as screens for privacy, hedges and windbreaks, and as foundation plants. Pruning arborvitae is easy and can keep it a manageable size. Hybrids like Hetz Midget and Bobozam only grow 3 feet high, while others like Emerald Green can make it to 15 feet tall; this bush stays green even during the cold winters of northern latitudes.

Banana Shrub

Banana-scented blooms give the banana shrub its name, states the Floridata website. This popular ornamental in southern states arrived from China in the latter years of the 1700s. Banana shrub is an evergreen bush that can grow to be 15 feet high if left alone. The whitish flowers emerge in late spring and remain in blossom through the summer. Banana shrubs have many stems and shiny green leaves as long as 5 inches. The slow growing bush will do better in acidic rich dirt mixed with organic matter. Banana plant will grow in shade or sun, with those specimens placed in the sun being of a more compact nature and those grown in shade being more open. Hedges formed from banana shrubs are one option with this species, while another is to place it on the borders of your garden.

Keywords: banana shrub, American arborvitae, smooth sumac

About this Author

John has written thousands of articles for Demand Studios, Associated Content and The Greyhound Review. A Connecticut native, John has written extensively about sports, fishing, and nature.