Top 10 Colorado Native Shrubs for Your Landscape in 2024

Top 10 Colorado Native Shrubs for Your Landscape in 2024

Introduction

As we move into 2024, many homeowners are looking for ways to enhance their landscapes while embracing sustainability and supporting local ecosystems. One of the best ways to achieve this is by incorporating Colorado native shrubs into your yard. These hardy, adaptable plants not only beautify your outdoor space but also provide numerous benefits, such as attracting wildlife, conserving water, and reducing maintenance needs. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 Colorado native shrubs that you should consider adding to your landscape in 2024.

1. Rocky Mountain Sumac (Rhus glabra)

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The Rocky Mountain Sumac is a versatile Colorado native shrub that offers year-round interest. Its lush green foliage turns a stunning red in the fall, and its clusters of red berries persist through winter, providing food for birds. This shrub is drought-tolerant and can thrive in a variety of soil conditions, making it an excellent choice for low-maintenance landscapes.

2. Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)

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Serviceberry, also known as Saskatoon or Juneberry, is a multi-stemmed Colorado native shrub that offers beauty and functionality. In the spring, it produces delicate white flowers, followed by edible berries that are loved by both humans and wildlife. Its leaves turn a beautiful golden-orange in the fall, adding a pop of color to your landscape.

3. Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus)

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Rabbitbrush is a tough, adaptable Colorado native shrub that thrives in dry, sunny locations. Its yellow flowers bloom in late summer and fall, providing a valuable nectar source for pollinators when other plants have finished blooming. This shrub is also known for its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, improving soil health and benefiting nearby plants.

4. Currant (Ribes spp.)

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There are several native currant species in Colorado, each offering unique benefits. Golden currant (Ribes aureum) produces showy yellow flowers in the spring and edible berries in the summer, while wax currant (Ribes cereum) offers pink flowers and red berries. These Colorado native shrubs are adaptable to various soil types and provide excellent habitat for wildlife.

5. Boulder Raspberry (Rubus deliciosus)

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Boulder Raspberry is a low-growing, spreading Colorado native shrub that produces large, white, rose-like flowers in the spring. Its leaves have a distinctive maple-like shape, adding textural interest to your landscape. This shrub is well-suited for rock gardens, slopes, and naturalized areas, as it helps control erosion and provides ground cover.

6. Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus)

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Mountain Mahogany is a slow-growing, evergreen Colorado native shrub that offers year-round interest. Its small, leathery leaves are accompanied by twisted, feathery seed tails that add a unique texture to your landscape. This shrub is highly drought-tolerant and can thrive in rocky, well-drained soils, making it an excellent choice for xeriscape gardens.

7. Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa)

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Apache Plume is a versatile, drought-tolerant Colorado native shrub that produces showy, white, rose-like flowers throughout the summer. After flowering, it develops distinctive feathery seed heads that add a delicate, airy texture to your landscape. This shrub is well-suited for borders, rock gardens, and naturalized areas.

8. Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa)

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Shrubby Cinquefoil is a compact, mounding Colorado native shrub that produces abundant yellow flowers throughout the summer. Its dark green, finely-textured foliage provides a beautiful backdrop for the flowers and remains attractive even when the plant is not in bloom. This shrub is adaptable to various soil types and is highly resistant to browsing by deer and rabbits.

9. Western Sand Cherry (Prunus besseyi)

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Western Sand Cherry is a low-growing, spreading Colorado native shrub that produces fragrant white flowers in the spring, followed by edible black cherries in the summer. Its glossy green leaves turn a beautiful red in the fall, adding seasonal interest to your landscape. This shrub is drought-tolerant and can help stabilize slopes and control erosion.

10. Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)

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Snowberry is a hardy, adaptable Colorado native shrub that produces small pink flowers in the summer, followed by distinctive white berries that persist through winter. Its dense, twiggy growth habit provides excellent cover and nesting sites for birds, while the berries serve as a valuable food source. This shrub is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions and can thrive in both sun and partial shade.

Benefits of Planting Colorado Native Shrubs

Incorporating Colorado native shrubs into your landscape offers numerous advantages, including:

  1. Water conservation: Native shrubs are adapted to Colorado’s climate and require less water than non-native species.
  2. Low maintenance: Colorado native shrubs are well-suited to local growing conditions, requiring less fertilizer, pesticides, and pruning.
  3. Wildlife habitat: Native shrubs provide food, shelter, and nesting sites for local birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.
  4. Ecosystem support: By planting Colorado native shrubs, you help preserve local plant diversity and support the health of regional ecosystems.
  5. Beauty and versatility: Colorado native shrubs offer a wide range of colors, textures, and growth habits, allowing you to create a beautiful, diverse landscape.

Conclusion

Incorporating Colorado native shrubs into your landscape not only enhances its beauty but also supports local ecosystems and reduces maintenance needs. By choosing from the top 10 shrubs listed above, you can create a diverse, sustainable, and wildlife-friendly yard that thrives in the unique growing conditions of Colorado.

If you need help selecting, planting, or caring for Colorado native shrubs, the experts at Trout Brook Arborists & Landscaping are here to assist you. With our knowledge and experience, we can help you create a stunning, low-maintenance landscape that showcases the best of Colorado’s native flora. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward a more sustainable and beautiful yard in 2024!

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