Native Shrubs of Knoxville

Neighborhood Coordinator

Debbie Sharp
[email protected]
(865) 215-3232

400 Main St., Room 546
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus)Bottlebrush Buckeye
Tall, cylindrical spikes of feathery white flowers with pink stamens. Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. 
Virginia sweetspire (Itea)Virginia Sweetspire
The long tassels of white flowers and red fall foliage make this an attractive ornamental.
Red/black chokeberry (Aronia)Red/black Chokeberry
Intermediate food source for birds. They have dark green, glossy leaves that consistently turn a rich, orange-red in fall. 
Beautyberry (Callicarpa)Beautyberry
Its most striking feature is the clusters of glossy, iridescent-purple fruit, which is a great wildlife food source.
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus)Buttonbush
Flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees.  Waterfowl such as ducks enjoy the seeds.
Hearts-a-bustin' (Euonymus)Hearts-a-Bustin'
This airy, deciduous shrub grows 6-12 ft. tall. Its ridged twigs become purplish when exposed to the sun.
Swamp mallow (Hibiscus)Swamp Mallow
The creamy-white flowers have a conspicuous band of red or burgundy at their bases, which attracts hummingbirds.
Wild hydrangea (Hydrangea)Wild Hydrangea
Small, mound-shaped densely multi-stemmed shrub. 3-6 ft. tall, often broader than high at maturity.
St. John's wort (Hypericum)St. John's Wort
Smooth, dark- to blue-green fine-textured foliage becomes yellow-green in fall. Large yellow flowers occur in few-flowered clusters.
Spicebush (Lindera)Spicebush
Very attractive to birds and butterflies. Provides a larval host for Eastern Tiger and Spicebush Swallowtail.
Winged sumac (Rhus)Winged Sumac
Winter food for many upland gamebirds, songbirds, and mammals. Various wildlife eat the fruit while deer also browse the twigs.
Elderberry (Sambucus)Elderberry
Berries are relished by many bird species and mammals. Deer eat twigs and leaves.
Bladdernut (Staphylea)Bladdernut
This large shrub has bell-shaped flowers; dark green, trifoliate leaves; greenish bark with white cracks; and interesting fruit.
Coralberry (Symphoricarpos)Coralberry
Songbirds, ground birds, small mammals, and browsers use this plant for food, cover, and nesting sites.
Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium)Highbush Blueberry
Berries are relished by most birds and mammals including, of course, humans. The foliage ranges in color over the year.
Mapleleaf viburnum (Viburnum)Mapleleaf Viburnum
The distinctive, purplish-pink autumn foliage makes this a beautiful shrub. Birds eat the berries.

Source: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center