Landscapers and garden designers are often asked to include trees and plants that will provide autumn colour in their designs. We are most familiar with deciduous trees that provide spectacular leaf colour but there are one or two that provide fantastic flower colour too. Some evergreen plants provide bright colour in the cooler months and shouldn’t be overlooked when looking for plants for autumn colour from a plant supplier.
Maples have long been a popular choice for plant suppliers and landscapers alike for providing rich autumn colour. The Red Maple (Acer rubrum) and Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), and their cultivars such as Acer ‘October Glory’, Acer ‘Brandywine’, Acer ‘Fairview Flame’, Acer ‘Bailsta’ Fall Fiesta and Acer ‘Jeffersred’ Autumn Blaze® provide a huge amount of choice.
Ornamental Pears provide good autumn colour too. The Manchurian Pear (Pyrus ussuriensis) is broadly oval in shape and grows 9m tall by 7m wide, but if you have limited space or your design calls for an avenue of trees, then the more upright cultivars such as Pyrus calleryana 'Capital', with a width of 1-3m, and Pyrus calleryana 'Cleveland Select' with its spread of 3-6m would be ideal. Both these cultivars attain a height of approximately 11 metres.
If golden tones are needed to match or complement your plant palette, then Ginkgo biloba, the Maidenhair Tree, with its fan-shaped leaves and elegant habit would be good choice. Liquidambar trees are also useful in providing yellow and gold tones which turn to rich reds as the cold sets in.
Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is a small, reliable, long-flowering tree that provides not only striking autumn leaf colour but masses of frilly flowers that appear in late summer and early autumn. The clusters of flowers range in colour from white, pink and mauve to purple and red. Leaves turn shades of yellow, orange and dark red as the weather cools down and winter interest is provided by the smooth creamy-grey outer bark that peels off to reveal the new pink-brown bark underneath. They are drought and heat tolerant and some varieties have been specifically bred to resist powdery mildew. Lagerstroemia ‘Biloxi’(pink), Lagerstroemia ‘Tonto’ (red), Lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’ (deep pink), and Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ (white) are a few to choose from.
Plants can also be used to provide colour on walls or where screening is required. Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidatus) and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) will cling to walls as the leaves turn brilliant shades of red, deep orange and purple-red. An Ornamental Grape vine (Vitis coignetiae) might be exactly what you are looking for if you want to cover a pergola to provide shade in summer but don’t want the mess of dropping fruit. Crimson leaves provide autumn colour before falling and allowing the warm winter sun to shine through.
- If you’re looking for easy-care shrubs to edge a pathway or provide a splash of colour in the garden, then a Nandina would fit the bill. Also known as Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina is evergreen and the dark to light green leaves (depending on cultivar) turn brilliant shades of red in response to colder weather. They start colouring up in autumn and provide bright colour through winter. Some varieties to look out for are Nandina ‘Gulf Stream’, Nandina ‘Moon Bay’, Nandina ‘Magical Lemon lime’, Nandina ‘Flirt’, Nandina ‘Obsession’ and Nandina ‘Fire Power’.
If you’re a landscape or nursery industry professional, real estate agent or housing estate developer looking for plants such as these, or even just wanting plants for a revegetation project, then PlantSelect is the ideal place to start your search. We connect landscapers to growers and plant suppliers, and our extensive plant database allows you to search for plants using a range of filters which will streamline your search.
So, if you’re looking for plant suppliers to provide spectacular plants with autumn colour, simply sign up to PlantSelect by registering below and start exploring by looking for the foliage colour or plants you want. If you’d like to get in contact with us then please fill out the form on our website.