One of David’s fall favorites is an unusual plant called Heptacodium miconioides (seven-son flower). It is a shrublike tree with green leaves during summer, but it puts on a command performance come fall. First, it produces panicles of star-shaped white blossoms in September and October. Then, its calyxes, which are green when flowering, ripen to a rosy red in October and November. In late fall, the plant drops its leaves to reveal showy, shaggy brown bark during winter months.
David says another fall knockout is the daisy Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’, which produces silvery-pink flowers. “It stays flowering through November,” he says. “It’s a true perennial and is very hardy. It will come back year after year, unlike a lot of mums that don’t reliably survive the Northeast climate.”
David likes the look of berry-producing plants, too. In autumn, he favors the bright-red berries of the Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly). Also consider Callicarpa ‘Profusion’ (beautyberry), a fast-growing shrub. “Its purple fruit is quite stunning,” he says, adding that the berry clusters remain on the plant long after the leaves fall.