Types of Small Evergreens


Most people think of evergreens simply as pine trees and the like, but in reality the term "evergreen" encompasses all types of trees and shrubs that maintain their foliage year-round. Small evergreens are also referred to as "dwarf" varieties and are often used in ornamental landscaping. Evergreens are found in green leaf and colored leaf types as well as in flowering and non-flowering breeds, with either broad- or needle-style leafing.

Needle Leaf Evergreens

  • Among needle leaf evergreens with green leafing are the Globe Headed Arbor Vitae, a hardy, dense, round ball of a shrub, and the Duke Garden Japanese Plum Yew, a three-foot-tall, low-spreading shrub. The Hinoki Cypress offers a few different variations with colored needle leafing, such as Blue Feathers, a pyramid-shaped shrub with soft needles and blue tinting, and Baldwin's Variegated, which grows in a oval shape low to the ground and has creamy white-tinted leaves.

Broad Leaf Evergreens

  • Broad leaf varieties include green leaf shrubs such as the Justin Brower Korean Boxwood, a slow-growing three-foot shrub that offers dense foliage, and the Tide Hill Common Boxwood, which grows to just one foot in height but spreads to a four-foot radius over the course of a few years' growth. The Elegantissima Boxwood is a colored type that offers a creamy white tinting and hardiness in colder climates. The Inkberry Holly offers a sub-species known as Jersey Knight as a green leaf type, as well as a sub-type hybrid called Variegata, a colored leaf type with irregular white streaks throughout dark green leaves.

Flowering Evergreens

  • Rosebay Rhododendron is a flowering type of evergreen with several sub-species that come in green leaf varieties, offering delicate flowers ranging from pink to lavender and an assortment of green hues. Among the sub-species are the Chionoides, the Dora Amateis, the Roseum Pink, and the Nova Zembla. The Mountain Laurel is a favorite among gardeners, with its lush foliage and beautiful flowers. Sub-types include the Bay State (with red and pink flowers), the Peppermint (with pale blue flowers), and the Snow Drift (with startling white flowers).

Non-Flowering Evergreens

  • Non-flowering evergreens come in both needle leaf and broad leaf varieties. The Gold Splash Euonymus has golden yellow broad leaves with soft green hearts, while the Russian Arborvitae offers mass ground coverage with olive green needle leaves. The Blue Star Juniper has blue steel-colored needle leaves with a maximum height of three feet, and the Japgarden Juniper has colored needle leaves in beautiful blue-green shading. Adams Needle is a spiky, white-edged evergreen that is of the Yucca species and thrives in dry, sunny locations.

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  • Photo Credit holly and berries image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com
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