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Virginia sweetspire.
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Gilles Murray)
Species or cultivar Fall and winter interest
Abeliophyllum distichum White forsythia. Shrub with delicate branches, less hardy than forsythia but interesting for its early blooming white flowers, similar to those of forsythia.
Berberis x julianae Compact, dense shrub with attractive persistent, highly glossy and spiny foliage. Needs winter protection.
Buxus sempervirens 'Variegata' Common boxwood cultivar with variegated foliage. Good for brightening up dark corners.
Callicarpa dichotoma et cv Small vase-shaped shrub with small persistent metallic purple fruit along its branches. Unusual colour.
Cornus sanguinea
'Winter Flame'
Shrub with rich red to orange stems. Not as hardy as our red osier dogwood.
Disanthus cercidifolius Shrub with delicate stems and green foliage in summer, which quickly turns dark red and lasts until the first frost. Place it in a protected corner. Interesting for its foliage.
Hedera helix and cv Ground cover with persistent foliage. 'Wilsonii', 'Baltica', 'Thorndale' and 'Bulgaria' are all hardy cultivars. Try the 'Sulphur Heart' cultivar with a striking yellow sulphur-coloured “heart” in the middle of the leaf. At the foot of a wall or a tree, keep an eye on this climbing ivy.
Itea virginica Shrub with semi-persistent leaves. Long-lasting dark red foliage in the fall.
Kalopanax septemlobus Tree with a spiny trunk. Large tropical-looking leaves.
Lonicera fragrantissima Very early, delicately scented springtime bloomer.
Nyssa sylvatica Little-known tree, hardy in Montréal, that turns bright scarlet in the fall.
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' Herbaceous ground cover with slender, deep black persistent leaves. Unusual.
Pterostyrax hispida Fragrant epaulette tree. A small, somewhat rare tree with persistent, pendulous blooms and garland-like fruit.
Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis Small shrub with persistent leaves, resembling boxwood, blooms very early in the spring. Flowers are pleasantly scented. Needs protection.
Stewartia pseudocamelia Small tree with often slender habit, with very showy colours in late fall. The mottled bark, in different colours, is highly unusual. Blooms in June, with flowers resembling little camellia flowers
Viburnum farreri 'Nanum' Early bloomer, very fragrant, attractive foliage.
Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea' Vine that turns purple in late fall.
Symplocos paniculata Shrub with sapphire blue fruit.
Sciadopitys verticillata Little-known conifer resembling a pine with its long, flat, dark green needles in whorls around its branches.

Based on an article by Robert Mineau in Quatre-Temps magazine, Vol. 26, No.4.

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