4 Best Natives for Antioxidant Berries
With a huge focus on home and garden these days, people are looking to their yards as a place where they can grow and harvest their own healthy edibles. Plants that will be a major focus are those that are high in nutrients, assist in boosting immunity, and are easy to grow.
Native berry-producing plants check all of those boxes! Below is a list of some of our favorites that you can promote to your customers this spring.
A thicket-forming shrub smothered with clusters of small white flowers in spring. The fragrant blooms attract nectar-loving insects and butterflies. The fruit that follows is an outstanding food source for birds and wildlife in summer to fall.
Elderberry is currently a trending plant for homeowners and foodies alike. Flowers can be made into a syrup that is the base for many recipes, including garden-inspired cocktails. The berries are known for high nutritional value and antioxidants—plus, they're delicious in jams and baking! With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why this plant has become so popular.
Everyone loves this delicious, sweet, pop-in-your-mouth blue fruit, but there are many other benefits you can promote that may not be as familiar. The flowers provide nectar to native bees, butterflies, and pollinators. Birds and other wildlife depend on them as a food source as well as nesting sites.
They adapt well to a variety of growing situations, and once the flowering and fruit cycles have ended, Blueberries reward us again in late summer with gorgeous fall color.
An easy way to encourage more sales is to create a table with other native berry-producing plants and sign them as "the ultimate smoothie makers."
Beach plum is a delightful shrub that thrives in coastal conditions, particularly on the East coast. It has exceptional value as a landscape plant thanks to its extravagant show of white springtime blooms, but the shrub is also cultivated for its tart purple fruits.
The fruit is often used for jam and wine-making, but can also be eaten fresh. While the plums are not as sweet as the varieties you’d find at the supermarket, they are wonderfully high in antioxidants and vitamin C.
Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima'
The berries of this shrub could easily be labeled as a superfood. They're packed with nutrients and antioxidants, and they're also said to aid in everything from digestion to the common cold.
Aronia is a compact shrub, up to 6' tall and wide, that offers four seasons of beauty. The dainty white flowers in spring are followed by dark berries in summer, before gorgeous purple and red foliage sets in for the fall. Since the berries persist past autumn into winter, they provide a much-needed source of food for birds and wildlife in the colder months of the year.
Set up an area of ‘superfood’ native plants like the ones mentioned above. Be sure to promote how the plants attract pollinators and are easy to grow, while also highlighting the healthy antioxidant berries they produce. These plants will practically sell themselves!