Plants for Autumn Colour

Which plants will give Autumn Colour in my garden?


If you are looking for a flush of Autumn colour to brighten up your garden why not consider a Liquidambar – or Sweetgum as it is commonly known. With their large, maple like  leaves which burst through in long-lasting colours of scarlet, purple orange and yellow they are perfect to cheer  up a dark corner during those grey days of Autumn, they are one of the last deciduous trees to lose their leaves which sometimes can be seen still hanging on until the onset of winter. Liquidambar have a resinous smell when crushed and the sweetly pungent scent can often be detected on a late-summer breeze.

Introduced from eastern America in the 17th century, they grow particularly well on acid soil and are pest and disease-free. Up to 20m tall.

GOLDEN SUN: An unusual form of the sweetgum with golden yellow branches forming a compact pyramidal shape. Lobed, mid green leaves are especially attractive in autumn, turning multiple colours in an interesting way: they change to bright red from the top of the tree downwards, and orange-yellow from the bottom upwards. Ht 4-6m. Can be pruned if desired. Best in fertile, well drained acid to neutral soil.

PENWOODAn lovely selection with a more compact habit. It reliably holds the spectacular wine red autumn colour for over 2 months. Not suitable for shallow, chalky soil. Best autumn colour when planted in acid soil in open position.

STARED: A selected form with deeply lobed leaves, red when young, turning deep purple in autumn. Corky bark especially apparent on older trees. Not suitable for shallow, chalk soils.


Our second choice but equally as stunning is the Parrotia persica (common name – Persian ironwood) a deciduous tree in the Hamamelidaceae family, they are closely related to the witch-hazel or Hamamelis, Parrotia are native to northern Iran and southern Azerbaijan.

JODRELL BANK: A lovely selection with purple flushed young growth and exceptionally good autumn colour, deep purple.

VANESSA: An upright form for the smaller garden. Deciduous, short trunked tree with flaking, grey and fawn bark. Rich green leaves turn yellow, orange and red in autumn. Small, red flws are borne on bare wood in early spring. Full sun and moist soil. Ht 10ft.

HET. PLANTSOEN: A wide spreading form with its beautiful Autumn Colour.

BILTMORE: A lovely selection with exceptional rich purple autumn colour originating from Biltmore Gardens. New leaves emerge burgundy, turning green. Rounded habit. Attractive brown peeling bark particularly adds extra winter interest. Ht 15-20ft. Sun/ part shade.