The Q&A Archives: Trying to find the common name of a shrub

Question: I am having the hardest time trying to find out what type of shrub I want. I see these shrubs everywhere, for example commerical locations and newly built homes. Landscape businesses must use them a lot and apparently they are hardy in my zone (Zone 6). These shrubs are either like dwarfs or are slow growing. They do not flower or the flower are too small to see. It seems like an evergreen, but they may start off with green foilage (leaves), but in the summertime the foilage is a yellow color. Can you please help me find out what I am looking for and maybe direct me to some names of shrubs that I can look up for a picture. If not, I am looking for a shrub similar. That adds a color to the flowerbed during summer or fall. I do not want any thing that gets too tall since they will go in front of the house and I do not want to block views from windows. I like something that grows only to a certain height (I guess that would be called dwarf) maybe to 2'-3' tall at the most. I want something that I do not have to prune or trim to maintain desired height and shape. I prefer no flowers or very small/minor flowers and no berries. I would also like something that will not shed too many leaves if possible. Thanks so much.

Answer: The easiest thing to do might be to take a photo of a representative planting and a close-up of one of the shrubs and take it to your professional nurseryman or county extension and ask them to identify it for you.

However, based on your description I think it may be some type of Chamaecyparis pisifera also called Sawara Falsecypress, Sawara False Cypress, or Japanese Falsecypress, possibly a cultivar such as "Mops" or "Filifera Aurea Nana." These are slow growing and considered dwarfs however their mature sizes are actually rather large. (The "dwarf" term is used in relation to the species which grows into a huge tree.)

Another option for summer color and low care might be the golden or red barberries. There are smaller growing cultivars of these shrubs available. Although deciduous, they would generally meet your desired characteristics.

Good luck with your quest!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by mcash70 and is called "Moss on a log"