Perennials with decorative fruits

Apart from the shrubs which very often produce pretty berries and other decorative fruits after their opulent blooms, rare are the perennials to adorn themselves with such wonders. However, if you look carefully, some of these plants will surprise you with the beauty of their fruits!

Perennials with fruit
Perennials with decorative fruits

wild clematis

Clematis vitalbathe white-vine clematis is a vine lively whose tendrils allow it to cling to all the supports within its reach. From June to August, it is covered with flowers in disheveled, white and fragrant stars in a sunny situation. Then follow the fruits of an incredible beauty, very feathery offering a note of lightness and enchantment especially when they are covered with frost in autumn! Be careful, this plant is poisonous.

black cohosh

Little known, the actea (Actaea spp.) is ideal in gardens where the shade dominates. Many species share the limelight, flowering in erect spikes from May to September depending on the variety. Some like ‘Chocoholic‘ or ‘Arthropurpura‘ also feature very ornamental foliage that is divinely cut and crimson.

After flowering the different species are adorned with very diverse fruits; round and red berries at Red journalwhite tinged with pale pink in Actaea pachypodablack at Actaea spicata. Be careful, once again the plant is toxic!

cape gooseberry

Here is finally a fruit as beautiful as it is edible and even very rich in flavors and vitamins! Physalis alkekengibetter known by the names ‘of love in a cage‘ or of ‘japanese lantern‘, is adorned with white flowers in blooming corollas in May/June. The fruits imprisoned in the red or orange chalices are of the most beautiful effect in the garden.

Rustic and expansive, it fears the cold much less than Peruvian cockroach, Physalis peruviana whose more imposing fruit presents slightly less flamboyant colors which is quickly compensated by a sweeter taste. This plant appreciates the sun and the heat and does not tolerate negative temperatures!

Canada dogwood

Usually in the family cornusthe gardener appreciates shrubs and even trees. This dogwoodalso named ‘four timesIt is, however, a ground cover plant with creeping rhizomes that is very useful for covering areas located in partial shade in acid soil.

Appreciating the freshness, this plant is not recommended in the Mediterranean zone, on the other hand, it is hardy beyond -15°C.

In late spring and early summer, the shiny, ribbed green foliage reveals beautiful white flowers. If several plants are installed in the same garden, the pollinated flowers will give rise to beautiful red berries in autumn.


The False Seals of Solomon (Maianthemum racemosum) is native to the undergrowth of North America. This plant, which can reach 1 m in height, also known as ‘Smilacine a cluster’ bears attractive dark green pointed leaves.

It likes the shade in a cool, rich and drained soil.

From the end of spring, the plant produces spikes of fragrant white flowers which will be followed by clusters of fruit similar to golden currants speckled with red before becoming ruby. These berries are very popular with birds, edible for humans, but they are not very tasty.

Very rustic, the plant spreads little by little over time by means of its rhizomatous roots.

the lotus

pond plant gélive, the lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) nevertheless remains an emblematic aquatic plant with a strong symbolism. Cultivated in full sun and with maximum heat, the lotus must be wintered indoors during the cold season because it does not tolerate frost at all, its tropical origins being the cause of its extreme chilliness.

In summer the curved leaves serve as deckchairs for frogs and other dragonflies, while the sumptuous flowers constantly admired by the amazed gardener are visited by butterflies and other pollinating insects. Very surprising and graphic, the fruit of the lotus is formed from the receptacle from fleur which from bright yellow then turns green and begins a process of exponential growth until it looks like a small watering can apple! Very graphic, this fruit once dried and turned dark brown can be used in dry bouquets.

American pokeweed

Admired by some, hated by others, Phytolacca americana is a species invasive native to North America. Its flowering in white spikes attracting pollinating insects lasts all summer long, giving way to clusters of fruit borne on pink stems.

The berries change from green to pink, then turn purple and finally shiny black. Ornamental and appreciated by birds and small mammals, they fascinate some gardeners despite their toxicity and the classification of the plant as a ‘plant plague’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Editor’s note: quoted but not recommended!

Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by

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