Nannyberry, which is grown either as a large shrub or a small tree, is great for naturalizing. This Midwest native is known for its exceptional maroon fall color. Additionally, in September and October, blue-black fruit ripens and often persists into December, attracting more than 35 species of birds. The birds also use nannyberry for nesting and cover.
- Chicago area
- North America
- Mixed border
- Small tree (15-25 feet)
- Compact tree (10-15 feet)
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 3
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Dry soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Late spring
- Early fall
- Mid fall
15 to 20 feet high and 10 to 15 feet wide
Tree & Plant Care
This plant has a moderate degree of salt tolerance; use in low exposed areas.
Prune after flowering
Disease, pests, and problems
No serious problems, although powdery mildew can occur
Native geographic location and habitat
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Over 35 species of birds, including flycatcher, flicker, bluebird, grosbeak, and redpoll are attracted to this plant. The birds are attracted to the fruit that ripens in the fall and often persists into December. They also use this plant as a nesting site and for cover.
This plant is a caterpillar and larva host to the spring azure butterfly.
Bark color and texture
Bark is dark, brownish-black with a blocky appearance
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple leaves in pairs (opposite), oval shaped and toothed with a winged leafstalk
Fall color is purplish red.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
- Small, creamy white flowers in flat-topped to slightly domed clusters
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Berry-like fruit (drupes) starting out yellow and red and maturing to blue or black