Native Ornamental Evergreen Shrubs

Ornamental shrubs are prized for their showy foliage and bright, fiery fall colors and fruit. Grown in dozens of varieties, each with its own distinct size, shape, color and growing requirements, ornamental shrubs are hardy plants. Useful along borders, tucked into flowerbeds or grown in masses as hedges of privacy walls, ornamental evergreen shrubs are a landscape must for your garden or yard.


Camellia (Camellia japonica) is a slow to moderately growing ornamental evergreen shrub with showy flowers. The dense form is pyramidal and upright in shape, making for a striking landscape bush along a front flowerbed. Camellia shrubs grow 8 to 15 feet tall and 5 to 10 feet wide, and have medium texture. The leathery, lustrous leaves are dark green and grow 2 to 4 inches long. In winter, the leaves cast a slight yellow shade. Camellia shrubs have double to semi-double flower blooms that grow in a wide range of colors including, pink, red, white and rose. Some camellia blooms are variegated, meaning they have more than one color swirled together. Camellia shrubs require partial shade and well-drained, moist, acidic soil that's nutrient-rich. The USDA hardiness zone for planting is 7 to 9.

Lindley Butterfly Bush

Lindley butterfly bushes (Buddleia lindleyana) are evergreen shrubs with a rapid growth rate and medium-to-fine texture. The large and rounded shrubs have arching branches that cascade down to hold their striking blooms. The purple flowers grow 3 to 8 inches long for a bright burst of color to the landscape. Shiny and dark green, the leaves on the lindley butterfly bush grow 2 to 4 inches long. Lindley butterfly bushes grow 4 to 6 feet tall and 5 to 7 feet wide for a classic landscape bush. Drought-tolerant and hardy, the lindley butterfly bush attracts butterflies to the landscape. Prune the lindley butterfly bush in late winter to early spring to promote new growth. Lindley butterfly bushes prefer full sun and moist, well-drained soil to thrive. Adaptable, the lindley butterfly bush also tolerates a wide range of soil conditions. The zone for planting is 7 to 9.

Chapman's Rhododendron

Chapman's rhododendron (Rhododendron minus var. Chapmanii), an ornamental evergreen shrub with showy blooms, has a loose, open form and spreading shape. Chapman's rhododendron grows 4 to 8 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide, making this vibrant shrub ideal planted in masses along the garden. Chapman's rhododendron has lustrous, medium-green leaves that grow 1 to 2 inches long. The spring-blooming, puffball-like flowers are pale pink and grow up to 4 inches wide. Heat-tolerant, chapman's rhododendron requires high, bright shade and well-drained, moist soils. The zone for planting is 7 to 9.

Keywords: ornamental evergreen shrubs, camellia shrub, lindley butterfly bush, chapman's rhododendron

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and