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Fall Colour Top Ten List

Posted by nicosnurseryland on October 7, 2018 at 3:05 AM

Fall Colour Top Ten List

Okay, it's way too hard to list just 10. So I've decided to to pick my top ten fall colour plants that we have in the nursery right now. The other stipulation, I could easily fill a list with just Japanese Maples. I will just put them all in to one entry. I also want to state that Burning Bush will not be on my list. It does have fantastic fall colour, but, maybe it's because we sell so many, they're just too common to be on my list! Here we go:


Number 10:

Physalis alkekengi or Chinese Lanterns. These plants are super hardy in the garden and the large papery husks naturally turn orange every autumn. They can become weedy, so it's best to have them in containers and use them for decor in the fall on the front steps of your home. We have them at only 29.99 and they come with a nice Welcome Fall pick to dress them up for Thanksgiving Weekend.


Number 9:

Aronia melanocarpa 'Autumn Magic'. Another very hardy plant. An introduction from UBC, this plant is great in the right spot. They are adaptable to many areas in the garden and can handle being in a wet area as well. They grow to about 5 or 6' in height and look best when pruned every spring to keep them compact. White flowers in spring turn to black berries that last through winter adding another element of winter interest. We have them now at 19.99 in a 2g pot.



Number 8:.

Miscanthus purpurescens 'Flame Grass'. This is my favourite grass for many reasons. First off, it's not that big. Sometimes you don't have room for those massive miscanthus that can be too dramatic and take over. I like the compact size of Flame Grass, and I love the flame orange and even dark purples of the fall colour. A lot of grasses have nice fall colour, but the Flame Grass has a wide blade and so the colours are bolder. The flowers are nice as well and look great throughout the winter. Grasses are mostly sold in 6" pots at only 14.99

Number 7:

Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes'. I don't usually like Sumacs, but when I do.... it's a Tiger Eyes!! A beautiful cut leaf staghorn sumac. Even the summer colour is a bright charteuse green turning yellow. But, it's really the fall colour that'll get you! They have an Oriental look, and look fantastic in the garden for some outstanding fall colour. We have them in stock now and they're putting on a show in 2g pots only 24.99.


Number 6:

Syringa pubescens 'Miss Kim'. Not usually on a fall colour list. But I love the contrasting, almost black foliage against all the oranges and reds. This plant is great because it's nice and compact. Slowly growing to about 6' tall by 4 or 5' wide. You still get the sweet fragrance of lilac flowers in spring along with this cool fall interest. Easy to grow, loves sun, and doesn't need a ton of water. It gets bonus points for it's name too, my wife's name is Kimberley!


Number 5:

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion' or Beautyberry. What a colour! You just don't see this shade of purple very often in the garden. This plant is not the most attractive for the rest of the seasons, so I recommend planting it near the back of the garden bed or yard. It grows large, so, don't worry, you'll see it! These branches are great for using inside as decor as well. Wow, what a berry!


Number 4:

Cercidipyllum japonicum 'Katsura'. My favourite all around tree. They always have something going on! When the leaves first emerge in spring they are burgundy in colour. As summer goes on, and new leaves keep emerging you have shades of burgundy and green all together on one tree. The foliage is heart shaped while the tree is shaped like a large droplet of water. The foliage almost twinkles in the light breeze of summer. But we're here to discuss fall colour, and that's why it's near the top! Here you see the golden brilliance. Some will turn shades of red as well. What really gets me, though, is the fragrance. The fallen leaves smell like burnt sugar. It's a natural fall fragrance that reminds me of autumns past. I just love these trees.


Number 3:

Stewartia pseudocamelia. 'Pseudocamelia', or, 'looks like a Camelia'. The name got me in College. How does this look like a camelia? Camelia's are one of my favourites that we can't grow in our climate. This Stewartia does grow in our climate, barely, and it's the flower that looks similar. I've found that this tree grows best with a little shade in the hot afternoons of a Shuswap summer. They will grow to about 20' and have white camelia-like flowers in the late spring. We have 2 left and are a striking shade of red right now.



Number 2:

Japanese maples. There are way too many to not just put them all in one category. You could literally do a top 100 of just Japanese maples! So, I'll try my best to write about a few of my favourites that we still have in stock!  My first is Baby Buttons: The cutest little maple around! Its tiny leaves emerge bright green in spring with the scorching colours of Autumn following throughout the fall season. A dwarf selection growing about 2' every 10 years. Then there's the  Golden Full Moon Maple. This is my all time favourite Japanese Maple! The leaves are cut so uniquely, it stands out in any garden! A very slow growing maple that prefers afternoon shade. Another, quite rare maple is White Peaches. This maple also prefers afternoon shade. Spring leaves are creamy white with pinkish tips. By summer they develop attractive green veins, but it's the fall colour that truly amazes!



The ultimate fall colour tree is Liquidambar styaciflua! Or Sweet Gum. This tree is so cool! The trunk gets quite corky with age which adds interest even in winter. The leaves resemble maples, but are much more deeply cut. Shiny green leaves emerge later in spring and start turning in the late summer into wonderful shades of red, orange, purple and even black! The tree is tall and slender, it is incredibly striking in any setting.


In conclusion, there are many more cool fall plants in stock at the nursery and some deserve an honourable mention:


Blueberries, obviously grown for the fruit, but the fall colour is outstanding!

Pears, again grown for their fruit, but they're the best fall colour fruiting tree!

Dogwoods, grown mostly for the flowers, but varieties like 'Wolf Eye' turn pink in fall while other varieties like White Wonder will turn red. Cornus kousa Chinensis has those fruit that look like strawberries in fall, they're pretty cool too!


Hope you enjoyed my top ten! Have a happy Thanksgiving weekend, it looks like it's going to be a great one! See you soon,

Go 'Backs Go


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