Plants Used for Topiary

Topiary is an art form that involves the creation of sculptures out of shrubs and trees that are clipped. The name "topiary" is Latin and is extracted from "topiarius," which means a gardener of landscapes. Topiary plants are evergreen and consist of tiny needles or leaves. The foliage of topiary plants is extremely dense and grows compactly. There are several varieties of plants that are commonly used for topiary.


Myrtle plants are commonly used in topiary. The flowering plants are native to North Africa and southern Europe. They are part of the Myrtaceae family. Towards the end of the summertime, myrtle plants produce numerous flowers. The plants can be clipped in order to create a hedge. Uniformly moist soil is necessary for myrtle used in topiary in order to stop wilting from occurring. Myrtle topiaries work well with full sun for the entire year.

Bay Laurel

The bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is also known as sweet bay, true laurel, Grecian laurel, laurel tree and bay tree. Bay laurels are popular plants for topiaries due to the fact that they respond positively to pruning. Pruning is required in order to maintain the shape and size of bay laurels in topiary. The flowers are a light greenish-yellow color, and have a diameter of approximately 1 centimeter.


The privet is a highly popular topiary plant that is part of the Oleaceae (olive) family. The flowers of privets are tiny and have soft and subtle fragrances and consist of four petals. The stamens have anthers that are red or yellow in color. They are semi-evergreen shrubs that originate in Europe. Privets are especially common with privacy hedging.

Keywords: topiary plants, topiary art, topiary flowers

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Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.