9 Berries to Brighten Up Your Winter Garden

8. Pyracantha (Pyracantha sp.)

Also known as Firethorn, this plant gets its name from the profusion of orange berries amid dramatic thorns. Technically an evergreen shrub, Pyracantha is fast-growing and easy to train, and it is often grown as a colorful espalier or trellis climber. Because of the sharp thorns and dense habit, it also makes a great security hedge.

Hardy to zone 5 or 6.

9. Viburnum (Viburnum sp.)

The endless varieties of Viburnum make it a garden favorite. The flowers are white to slightly pink and most produce colorful drupes that last into winter. Popular varieties for winter fruit include the red-fruiting American Cranberrybush (Viburnum trilobum) and the more dramatic, blue-black Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum).

Hardy to zone 2.

More Options

Other choices for winter berries include:

  • Barberry (Berberis sp.) – red or bluish
  • Bayberry (Myrica pennsylvanica) – silver-gray
  • Bittersweet (Celasstrus sp.) – vine – orange berries
  • Buckthorn (Rhamnus sp.) – black
  • Chokeberry (Aronia sp.) – red or black
  • Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) – red or blue-black
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus sp.) red or orange
  • Juniper, Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus sp.) – blue
  • Roses (Rosa sp.) – red “hips”
  • Serviceberry (Amelianchier sp.) – blue or red
  • Skimmia (Skimmia japonica) – red
  • Snowberry and Coralberry (Symphicarpos sp.) – white or reddish-purple


  1. Do not buy a Pyracantha. It grows like crazy and the THORNS!!! I just cut this out of my back yard and now I have piles of branches that I can’t move. I’m going to have to burn them in my back yard because the thorns will go through shoes/jeans/gloves and cause extreme pain almost like a bee sting.

  2. Pyracantha does have some humongous, tough thorns! As I was photographing pyracantha for this article, I was surprised to see my neighbor’s dog happily munching the berries, oblivious to the thorns – I still haven’t figured that one out.

  3. I have a large Nandina bush near my kitchen window. I like it, but my friend said it will grow into my sink plumbing. Is this a bad idea to keep the Nandina?


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