Called “heavenly bamboo” because the tapered leaves and clumping stems look a bit like bamboo but without the running habit. (Bamboo is a grass, so they’re actually not related at all.) Showy red berries hang in clusters all winter on the taller types, while most of the dwarf forms never fruit at all (or do so minimally after many years). They do, though, have colorful foliage that takes center stage in spring and fall, where young leaves can be rosy-red, plum-purple, sienna orange, or lemon-lime. Tolerant of an array of conditions, they make good foundation shrubs or unpruned hedges. Tall forms can get leggy, so pair them with shorter shrubs or perennials for a fuller look.
by Miri Talabac, Woody Plant Buyer