Category Archives: Small Shrubs

Black Gooseberry

Black gooseberry (Ribes divaricatum)
Ribes divaricatum

Black gooseberry (Ribes divaricatum) is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 8ft tall with arching stems. The white flowers usually bloom in mid-spring and are a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies. The berries are small and offer a great food source for wildlife.

The plant prefers moist soil and can grow in both full sun and semi-shade. Please note that the plant does have sharp thorns, and precautions should be taken if planting in areas used by young children and pets.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: Yes
  • Mature Height: 5-8ft
  • Mature Width: 3-5ft

Baldhip Rose

Baldhip Rose (Rosa gymnocarpa)
Rosa gymnocarpa

Baldhip rose (Rosa gymnocarpa) is a low rhizomatous shrub, growing up to 5 feet high. The plant is widespread and common throughout Oregon. It provides food and shelter for a variety of birds and mammals and attracts pollinators and other beneficial insects.

Baldhip rose leaves are compound and deciduous with 5-9 1.5-inch leaflets. Thorns are thin and straight, ranging from numerous to sparse. Flowers are pink and fragrant, blooming in late spring. Half-inch rose hips are orange to scarlet and edible. This rose tolerates full sun to partial shade and is drought tolerant. Rosa gymnocarpa hybridizes with other roses.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Dry, Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 5ft
  • Mature Width: 3-5ft

Golden Currant

Golden Currant (Ribes aureum)
Ribes aureum

Golden currant (Ribes aureum) is a low, deciduous shrub, named for its tubular golden flowers. It is common in Oregon and Washington east of the Cascades and into the Great Basin. Golden currant grows in full sun and partial shade, in dry to moist conditions, and is drought tolerant. The leaves are deciduous, lobed, and vaguely maple-like, ½ – 1½ inches. Flowers bloom from mid- to late-spring in clusters. The berries are edible and range in color from red to black.

Golden currant has a mature size of approximately 6 feet by 6 feet. It attracts hummingbirds and the fruit is eaten by birds and other wildlife. Thornless.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Dry, Moist
  • Ease of Growing:
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: No
  • Wildlife Support: Hummingbirds, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: Yes
  • Mature Height: 6ft
  • Mature Width: 6ft

Snowberry

Common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
Symphoricarpos albus

Few plants are as aptly named as snowberry. Small tubular pink flowers give way to scattered clusters of white berries in late summer, which hover on the delicate, arching branches through the fall and much of winter. The small oval leaves are pale green, turning yellow in the fall.

Snowberries are at their best in the landscape when combined with other plants. They bring an airy lightness to the understory that contrasts well with the thick evergreen leaves of salal and low Oregon grape, the red stems of red osier dogwoods, and the feathery green foliage of hemlock and western red cedar.

The berries are eaten by birds when other food is scarce, and the flowers attract pollinators and hummingbirds. It is tolerant of a wide variety of growing conditions and makes an excellent addition to any native garden.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade
  • Water Requirements: Dry, Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 3-6ft
  • Mature Width: 2-4ft

Evergreen Huckleberry

Evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum)
Vaccinium ovatum

Evergreen Huckleberry is a small to medium sized evergreen shrub native to the Pacific Northwest regions of the United States and British Columbia. In the Willamette Valley, it prefers full to partial shade, but will tolerate full sun in coastal areas. It grows slowly and prefers acidic soils.

The shiny, alternately arranged leaves are 2-3.0cm long and 1-1.5cm wide with finely serrated edges. In mid-summer, the plant produces round, edible black berries about 0.5 – 1.0cm in diameter.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Slow
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: Yes
  • Mature Height: 4-8ft
  • Mature Width: 3-6ft

Black Twinberry

Black twinberry (Lonicera involucrata)
Lonicera involucrata

Black twinberry (Lonicera involucrata) is also known as “twinberry honeysuckle”. Named for its twin-forming flower and fruit, this is a fast-growing, attractive shrub reaching 10 feet or more. Pairs of tubular-shaped yellow to orange flowers bloom mid-spring to early summer, followed by very showy red bracts surrounding dark purple berries. The flowers provide nectar for hummingbirds and the berries are eaten by numerous birds. Twinberry likes sun or partial shade and moist soil.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: No
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 8-10ft
  • Mature Width: 4-10ft
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