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Back to Key. Next (A).. (B).. (C).. (D-F).. (G-I).. (L-O).. (P).. (Q-R).. (S).. (T-Z).

Checklist of plants suitable for hedging and windbreaks (old).

Botanical name Common name Deciduous/ Evergreen Height Growth rate Hardiness Wind Notes
Acer campestre Field Maple D M-T M 4   Most soils. Leaves preserve fruit. Medicinal.
Ailanthus altissima Tree of heaven D T F 6   Tolerates most soils and conditions including pollution. Insect repellant, medicinal, soil stabilization, yellow dye. Leaves are said to be edible but slightly toxic.
Alnus glutinosa Alder D M-T F 3 M Prefers a moist soil. Ink , dyes, tannin, medicinal.
Amelanchier canadensis Juneberry D M-T M-F 4 W Moist well drained lime free soil, sunny position. Edible fruit.
Arundo donax Giant reed Grass M-T F 6   Moist soil esp by water. Edible rhizome. Basketry, plant supports, erosion control, medicinal.
Atriplex canescens Salt bush E M-T M 7 M Well drained soil in full sun. Resists fire. Edible leaves-salty. Edible seed.
Atriplex halimus Salt bush E M M 8 M As above.
Aucuba japonica Spotted laurel E M M 7 M Most soils sun or shade. Tolerates smoke. Leaves are said to be a famine food.
Baccharis halimifolia Bush groundsel D M-T M 5 M Any soil.
Baccharis patagonica   E M S-M 8 M Any soil
Bambusa multiplex Bamboo E M-T M 9   Rich moist soil, sheltered position. Edible shoots. Fibre for paper.
Berberis amurensis Barberry D M M 6   Most soils
Berberis darwinii Barberry E M S-M 7 M Most soils. Edible fruit. Yellow dye, medicinal.
Berberis gagnepainii Barberry E M S-M 5   Most soils.
Berberis soulieana Barberry E M M 6   Most soils.
Berberis x stenophylla Barberry E M S-M 5 M Most soils. Edible fruit.
Berberis thunbergii Barberry D M M 4   Most soils. Edible fruit and leaves, not at all nice. Yellow dye, medicinal.
Berberis verruculosa Barberry E M S-M 5   Most soils.
Berberis vulgaris Common barberry D M M 3   Most soils. Alternate host of black stem rust of cereals. Edible fruit, tea.
Bupleurum fruticosum   E M M 7 M Well drained soil.
Bursaria spinosa Christmas bush E M S 8   Well drained moisture retentive soil. Used in suntan lotions to protect from U. V. light.
Buxus sempervirens Box E S-T S 5   Most soils, sun or semi shade. Resists honey fungus. Medicinal.
Ceasalpinia decapetala   D M S 8   Sheltered sunny position in well drained soil. Tannin, medicinal.
Callistemon citrinus Bottlebrush E M M 9   Sheltered position. Tea. Tan & cinnamon dyes. C. sieberi & C. viridiflorus can also be used.
Calluna vulgaris Ling E S S 4   Dry acid soil, sunny position. Basketry, thatching, brooms, yellow dye, tea, medicinal, fuel.
Caragana arborescens Siberian pea shrub D M-T M 2   Sunny position, well drained soil. Edible seed and young pods cooked. Erosion control, dye.
Caragana brevispina   D M M 6   Sunny position, well drained soil. Edible seed, cooked. Erosion control.
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam D M-T M 5   Most soils. Yellow dye, medicinal.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Blueblossom E M-T F 8 M Sunny position. Slow to establish. Soap from flowers, green dye.
Cedrus libani atlantica Atlas cedar E T M 5   Most soils. Medicinal.
Celastrus orbiculatus Bittersweet D T M 4   Deep rich loamy soil. Edible young leaves-cooked. Medicinal.
Chaenomeles speciosa Japanese quince D M M 5   Most soils, sun or semi shade. Edible fruit. Medicinal.

Botanical name Common name Deciduous/ Evergreen Height Growth rate Hardiness Wind Notes
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Lawsons Cypress E T F 6 W Most soils. Resin
Choisya ternata Mexican orange D M-T M 7   Light soils.
Colletia armata   D M-T S 8 M Sandy well drained soil, sun or light shade.
Cornus mas Cornelian cherry D T M 5   Most soils sunny position. Edible fruit. Oil, dye.
Cornus sanguinea Dogwood D M-T M 5   Most soils. Oil, basketry, grey-blue dye. The fruit is said to be edible but you are welcome to it!
Corokia x. virgata   E M-T M 8   Most soils, well drained.
Corylus avellana Hazel nut D M-T M 4   Most soils. Edible seed, oil. Basketry, wood polish, hurdles. Named varieties can also be used.
Corylus maxima Filbert D M-T M 4   As above.
Cotoneaster spp. Cotoneaster E M-T M 5-7   Most soils. Several species can be used inc;- C. "Cornubia", C. divaricatus, C. franchetii, C. frigidus, C. glaucophyllus, C. lacteus, C. simonsii & C. wardii.
Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn D M-T M-F 5 M Most soils. Edible fruit, young shoots. Tea, coffee, medicinal. Also C. laevigata, C. mollis, C. sanguinea, & C. submollis.
Cupressocyparis leylandii Leyland cypress E T F 7 M Most soils.
Cupressus macrocarpa Monterey cypress E T F 8 M Most soils but not shallow. Var. "Lutea" is hardier.
Drimys lanceolata Mountain pepper E M-T S-M 8   Semi shade. Dioecious. Fruit is a pepper substitute. Medicinal.
Elaeagnus angustifolius Oleaster D M-T M-F 2 W Prefers well drained soils. Resists drought and honey fungus. Fixes nitrogen. Edible fruit. Gum.
Elaeagnus commutata Silverberry D M M 2 M Light soil, sunny position. Resists drought and honey fungus. Fixes nitrogen. Edible fruit. Fibre.
Elaeagnus x. ebbingei   E M-T M-F 6 M Best in not too rich a soil, tolerates shade. Fixes nitrogen. Edible fruit, produced in April/May.
Elaeagnus glabra   E M-T M 8 M Most soils, fixes nitrogen. Very shade tolerant, will eventually climb into trees. Edible fruit.
Elaeagnus macrophylla   E M-T M 8 M As E. glabra.
Elaeagnus multiflora Goumi D M-T M 6 M As E. angustifolius. Tolerates air pollution.
Elaeagnus pungens   E M-T M 7 M As E. glabra.
Elaeagnus x. reflexa   E M-T M 7 M As E. glabra.
Elaeagnus umbellata   D M-T M 3 M As E. angustifolius. Edible fruit and seed.
E. u. parviflora   D M-T M 3 M As above but said to have a superior fruit.
Eleutherococcus sieboldiana   D M-T M 4   Well drained humus rich soil, sunny position. Tolerates urban pollution. Edible leaves. Tea.
Erica x. darleyensis Heather E S M 6   Prefers a light peaty soil but tolerates chalk.
Erica x. veitchii Heather E S-M M 8   Light peaty soil.
Escallonia spp. Escallonia E M-T F 7-9 M Sunny, most soils. Many forms incl:- E. "Alice", E. "Apple blossom", E. " C. F. Ball", E. compacta coccinea, E. "Crimson spire", E. "Donard gem", E. "Donard seedling", E. "Edinensis", E. x. exoniensis, E. "Glasnevin hybrid", E. "Ingrami", E. "Iveyi", E. laevis, E. "Langleyense", E. "Pink pearl", E. "Pride of donard", E. pulverulenta, E. "Red hedger", E. rosea, E. rubra macrantha, E. "St. Keverne", E. "Slieve donard", E. "William Watson".
Eucryphia lucida Leatherwood E M-T M 8   Most soils preferably lime-free. Dislikes cold winds. Sun or semi-shade. Medicinal.

Botanical name Common name Deciduous/ Evergreen Height Growth rate Hardiness Wind Notes
Eucryphia x. nymensensis   E M-T M 7   Most soils preferably lime-free. Dislikes cold winds. Full sun only if soil is moist.
Euonymous alatus Spindle D M M 3   Most soils if well drained. Medicinal, tea. Edible leaves and fruit???I have my doubts on this report.
Euonymous fortunei   E S M 5   Most soils sun or shade.
Euonymous japonicus Japanese Spindle E M-T M-F 7 M Well drained soil, sun or shade. Hosts sugar beet fly. Rubber from root and stems.
Fagus sylvatica Beech D M-T S-M 5 W Most soils except heavy and wet. Edible young leaves, seed and oil. Medicinal.
Forsythia x. intermedia   D M-T M 5   Well drained preferably rich soil.
Fuchsia magellanica Fuchsia D M-T M 6 M Most soils. Often cut back to base in cold winters. Var. "Ricartonii"is hardier. Dye, medicinal.
Garrya elliptica   E M-T M 8 M Most well drained soils, not rich. Resents root disturbance. Grey to black dye, medicinal.
Gaultheria mucronata   E S M 6   Light peaty acid soil, sunny position. Edible fruit?
Genista hispanica Spanish gorse D S M 6   Sunny position in dry not rich soils. Resents root disturbance.
Griselinia littoralis   E M-T M 7 M Light rich soil, chalk tolerant. Edible fruit with a bitter flavour.
Hakea sericea   E M M 9 W Moist well drained soil. Gum-similar to gum tragacanth.
Hebe brachysiphon   E S-M M 7   Sunny, well drained.
Hebe dieffenbachii   E S-M M 9   Sunny, well drained.
Hebe x. franciscana   E S-M M 7 M Light well drained soil on poor side, chalk tolerant.
Hebe speciosa   E S-M M 7 M As above.
Helichrysum italicum Curry plant E S M 8 W Well drained soil, sunny position. Leaves a flavouring.
Hibiscus syriacus Mallow D M M 5   Most well drained soils, sunny position. Edible leaves, flowers, oil. Tea, fibre, hair shampoo.
Hippophae rhamnoides Sea buckthorn D M-T M 3 M Most soils, sunny position. Fixes nitrogen. Edible fruit, very acid. Dyes, medicinal.
Hydrangea macrophylla Hydrangea D M M 5   Well drained moist soil.
Hydrangea serrata Hydrangea D M M 6   Well drained moist soil. Edible leaves, sweet in ssp. amagiana and thunbergii.
Hymenanthera dentata   E M-T M 9   Well drained. Purple dye.
Hypericum forrestii   D S-M M 5   Most soils.
Hypericum patulum   E S M 6   Most soils.
Hyssopus officinalis Hyssop E S M 3   Prefers light dry calcareous soil and a sunny position. Flavouring. Tea, medicinal.
Ilex x. altaclarensis Holly E M-T S 6 M Most soils.
Ilex aquifolium Holly E M-T S 6 M Most soils, not dry. Full sun to heavy shade. Medicinal.
Laurus nobilis Bay tree E M S 8   Well drained fertile soil in full sun. Flavouring.
Lavandula angustifolia Lavender E S M 5 M Light dry warm soil, sunny position. Flavouring. Insect repellent, essential oil, medicinal.
Lavandula latifolia Lavender E S M 7 M As above.
Leptospermum laevigatum   E M-T M 9 M Most soils. Sand binder.
Leptospermum scoparium Tea tree E M-T M 8 W Most soils. Tea, green dye, insect repellent.
Ligustrum delavayanum   E M-T M 7   Most soils, sun or shade.
Ligustrum lucidum Chinese privet E M-T M 7   Most soils, tolerates shade and drought. Medicinal.
Ligustrum ovalifolium Privet E M-T M 5 M Most soils, sun or shade.
Ligustrum vulgare Privet D M M 4 M Most soils, tolerates drought and shade. Basketry, ink dyes, medicinal.

Botanical name Common name Deciduous/ Evergreen Height Growth rate Hardiness Wind Notes
Lonicera nitida   E S-M M-F 7   Most soils.
Lonicera xylosteum   D M-T M 3   Most soils.
Luma apiculata Temu E M-T S-M 8 W Most well drained soils. Edible fruit.
Lycium barbarum Boxthorn E M S-M 6 M Sunny position, well drained soil. Edible fruit and shoots. Medicinal.
Lycium chinense Boxthorn E M S-M 6 M As above.
Maclura pommifera Osage orange D M-T M 5 W Most soils, sunny position. Food preservative, insect repellent, tannin, yellow dye.
Mahonia aquifolia Oregon grape E S-M M 5   Most soils, sun or heavy shade. Edible fruit, dyes, medicinal.
Mahonia trifoliolata   E M S-M 7   Most soils preferably hot and dry. Edible fruit. Dyes, ink, tannin.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides   D T M-F 6   Most soils but slow in dry sandy soils or shallow chalk. Soil stabilization.
Miscanthus sacchariflorus   Grass M-T M-F 8 M Most soils, not dry. Dies down in winter.
Muehlenbeckia complexa Maidenhair vine D M-T M 8 M Well drained soil in sun or semi-shade. Dioecious. Edible fruit.
Myrtus communis Myrtle E M-T S-M 8 W Most well drained soils. Flavouring. Essential oil, medicinal.
Olearia spp. Daisy bush E M-T M 8 M Most soils. Many species incl;- O. aviceniifolia, O.  x. haastii, O. illicifolia, O. macrodonta, O. solandri, O. traversii and O. virgata.
Orixa japonica   D M M 6 W Any soil, sun or shade. Edible young leaves-spicy.
Osmanthus x. burkwoodii   E M-T S 6   Most soils esp chalk. Other species include:- O. decorus, O. delavayi and O. heterophyllus.
Paliurus spina-christi Christ`s thorn D M-T M 8   Most well drained soils, full sun.
Perovskia atriplicifolia   D S-M   6 M Well drained soils including chalk. Sunny position.
Philadelphus coronarius Mock orange D M M 5   Most soils incl chalk. Sunny. Also:- P. delavayi, P. pubescens, P. purpurascens & P.  x. virginalis.
Phillyrea latifolia   E M-T S 7 M Most soils. Edible fruit?Medicinal.
Phormium tenax New Zealand Flax E M-T M 8 M Most soils, preferably moist. Edible gum, nectar. Fibre, basketry, glue, dyes, tannin, coffee sub.
Photinia davidiana   E M-T F 8   Fertile well drained soil in a sheltered sunny position.
Photinia x. fraseri   E T M 8   As above. Succeeds on chalk.
Pittosporum crassifolium Karo E M-T M 9 M Most soils. Dark blue dye, saponins. Soil stabilization.
Pittosporum ralphii   E M-T M 9 M Most soils.
Pittosporum tenuifolium Kohuhu E M-T M 9 M Most soils. Edible gum. Foliage in flower arranging.
Pittosporum tobira Tobira E S M 9   Well drained soil, sun or semi-shade.
Pittosporum undulatum Cheesewood E M-T M 9 M Most soils.
Pleioblastus hindsii Bamboo E M-T M 7   Most soils, not dry. Prefers shade. Edible young shoots. Plant supports.
Pleioblastus simonii Medake E M-T M-F 6 M As above.
Poncirus trifoliata Bitter orange E M-T M 5   Most soils, sunny position. Edible fruit-a conserve. Medicinal.
Potentilla fruticosa Cinquefoil D S M 5   Most soils, preferably light, well drained. Tea, tinder, soil stabilization.
Prinsepia utilis   D M-T M 5   Light soil, sunny position. Edible fruit, oil. Medicinal.
Prumnopitys andina Plum-fruited yew E M-T S-M 8   Most soils, sheltered position. Edible fruit-tastes like a grape. Edible seed.
Prunus caroliniana Laurel cherry E M M 7   Well drained soil in sun or shade. Edible fruit.
Prunus cerasifera Cherry plum D T M-F 4 W Well drained, preferably with chalk. Sunny. Edible fruit.
Prunus cerasus Sour cherry D T M-F 3   Most well drained soils, preferably acid. Edible fruit, oil, gum. Tea.
Prunus x. cistena   D M M 3   Well drained soils including chalk, sunny position.

Botanical name Common name Deciduous/ Evergreen Height Growth rate Hardiness Wind Notes
Prunus incisa Fuji cherry D M-T M 6   Well drained soils including chalk, sunny position.
Prunus insititia Damson D T M 5 W Most soils incl chalky, sunny position. Edible fruit. Medicinal.
Prunus laurocerasus Cherry laurel E T M 7 W Most soils, dislikes shallow chalk. Shade tolerant. Edible fruit if fully ripe. Almond flavouring.
Prunus lusitanica Portuguese laurel E T M 7   Most soils, sun or shade. Susceptible to silver leaf disease.
Prunus spinosa Sloe D M-T M 4 M Most well drained soils. Edible fruit-very acid. Ink, tea, dye medicinal.
Pseudosasa japonica Bamboo E T M 6 M Most soils. Edible young shoots. Plant supports, medicinal.
Pyracantha spp. Firethorn E M-T M 6-8 W Most soils. Susceptible to fireblight. Species include:- P. coccinea, P. rogersiana, P. "Wateri".
Quercus ilex Holm oak E T S-M 7 M Most soils except cold poorly drained. Edible seed, oil. Slug repellent, tannin.
Quercus petraea Oak D T S-M 4 M Most soils. Edible seed-coffee substitute. Slug repellent, tannin.
Quercus robor Oak D T S-M 6 M As above.
Rhamnus alaternus   E M M 7   Well drained
Rhamnus catharticus Buckthorn D M-T M 3   Most soils preferably calcareous. Primary host of Oat crown rust. Dyes, medicinal.
Rhamnus dahuricus   D M-T M 5   Most soils. Tea, dye.
Rhamnus frangula Alder buckthorn D M-T M 6   Moist fairly fertile soil, sun or part shade. Dyes, medicinal.
Rhaphiolepis umbellata   E M-T M 8   Most well drained soils, sheltered position. Edible seed, a famine food. Brown dye.
Rhododendron spp. Rhododendron E M-T M 5-7   Lime free peaty well drained soil. Species incl:- R. lutescens, R. luteum, R. ponticum.
Ribes sanguineum Flowering currant D M-T M 6 M Most soils. Edible fruit-can store 2 months but that does not make it any nicer!
Rosa acicularis   D M M 2   Most soils. Edible fruit, young shoots. Tea
Rosa glauca Red leaved rose D M M-F 2 W Most soils
Rosa macrophylla   D M-T M-F 7   Most soils. Edible fruit.
Rosa multiflora   D M-T M-F 5 W Most soils. Edible fruit, young shoots.
Rosa nutcana Nootka rose D M M 4   Most soils. Edible fruit. petals, young shoots. Tea.
Rosa rubiginosa Eglantine D M-T M-F 4   Most soils. Edible fruit, petals, young shoots. Tea, medicinal.
Rosa rugosa Ramanas rose D M M-F 2 M Most soils. Edible fruit, petals. Tea, medicinal.
Rosa virginiana Virginian rose D M M 3 W Most soils. Edible fruit, young shoots. Stabilizing sand dunes.
Salix alba White willow D T F 2 M Prefers a stiff moist soil. Edible leaves. Basketry, medicinal.
Salix "Bowles hybrid" Bowles willow D T F 4 M Prefers a stiff moist soil. Basketry.
Salix caprea Goat willow D T F 5 M Most soils if moist. Basketry, leather substitute.
Salix lanata Wooly willow D S-M M 2 M Most soils.
Salix purpurea Purple osier D T F 5 W Most soils. Basketry, medicinal.
Sambucus nigra Elder D M-T F 5 M Most soils. Edible fruit-cooked-and flowers. Insect repellent, tea, medicinal.
Santolina neopolitanum   E S M 7   Sunny position, poor soil.
Santolina rosmarinifolius Holy flax E S M 7   As above.
Sasa palmata Bamboo E M M 7   Moist well drained loam. Plant supports.
Semiarundinaria fastuosa Bamboo E T M 7   Moist well drained loam, sheltered position. Edible young shoots. Plant supports.
Senecio spp.   E M-T S-M 8 M Most soils. Species incl:- S. greyi, S. laxifolius, S. monroi, S. reinoldii, S. "Sunshine".
Shepherdia argentea Buffalo berry D M-T M 2 W Most soils, drought resistant. Edible fruit. Red dye.
Sinarundinaria nitida Bamboo E T M 5   Moist well drained loam, best in semi shade. Plant supports.
Smilax aspera Sarsaparilla E M-T M 9   Most soils. Edible young shoots. Root used in soft drinks. Dye, medicinal.

Botanical name Common name Deciduous/ Evergreen Height Growth rate Hardiness Wind Notes
Sorbus intermedia   D M-T M 5 M Most well drained soils, preferably moist. Sunny position. Edible fruit.
Spartium junceum Spanish broom D M-T F 8 M Most soils, preferably lime free. Basketry, fibre, dye, essential oil, medicinal.
Spiraea spp.   D M M 4-5   Most moist soils, sunny position. Species include:- S.  x. arguta, S. japonica and S. thunbergii.
Symphoricarpus albus laevigatus   D M-T M-F 3 W Most soils and situations. Invasive. Edible fruit?Besom. Other species can also be used.
Syringa vulgaris Lilac D M-T M-F 5   Most soils, warm sunny position. Essential oil, dye, medicinal.
Tamarix gallica Tamarisk D T M 5 M Most soils. Edible manna. Medicinal. Also T. africana, T. parviflora and T. ramosissima.
Taxus baccata Yew E M-T S-M 6 W Most soils, sun or shade. Edible fruit-sweet. BEWARE:- ALL OTHER PARTS OF PLANT ARE POISONOUS. Insecticide, incense, medicinal. Other species can also be used.
Thamnocalamus spathaceus   E T M 6   Moist well drained loam. Edible young shoots. Plant supports.
Thuja occidentalis White cedar E T S-M 2   Moist soil. Best in west of Britain. Tea, insect repellent, medicinal.
Thuja orientalis   E M-T S-M 6   Prefers a dry well drained soil. Often does not do well. Edible seed. Dye, medicinal.
Thuja plicata Red cedar E M-T M-F 6 W Most soils except light, sandy. Edible inner bark. Fibre, basketry.
Tsuga heterophylla Hemlock E T M-F 6   Best in high rainfall areas in a deep well drained soil. Edible inner bark. Tea, tannin, resin, medicinal. Other species to use include:- T. canadensis, T. caroliniana, T. chinensis and T. mertensiana.
Ugni molinae Ugni E M S-M 8 W Most well drained soils. Edible fruit. Tea.
Ulex europaeus Gorse E M F 6 M Prefers a poor dry soil, sunny position. Soil stabilization, tea, dye, kindling.
Ulex parviflorus   E M M-F 7 M As above.
Viburnum x. juddii   D M M 5   Dislikes poor dry soils.
Viburnum opulus Guelder rose D M-T M-F 3 W Prefers moist soils. Edible fruit-best cooked. Red dye, medicinal. Ssp. americanum is said to have superior fruit.
Viburnum prunifolium Black haw D M-T M 3   Tolerates poor dry soils. Edible fruit.
Viburnum tinus Laurustinus E M F 7 W Most soils.
Vitex negundo   D M-T M 8   Light soil, sunny position. Seed a condiment. Tea, insect repellent, basketry, medicinal.
Weigela florida Weigela D M M 5   Rich soil, sun or part shade.

 

KEY

D = DECIDUOUS E = EVERGREEN

HEIGHT:- S = SMALL (TO 4ft FOR HEDGES, 20ft FOR TREES. ) M = MEDIUM (TO 6ft FOR HEDGES, 50ft FOR TREES. ) T = TALL (OVER 6ft FOR HEDGES, OVER 50ft FOR TREES. )

RATE OF GROWTH:- S = SLOW M = MEDIUM F = FAST

WIND RESISTANCE:- W = TOLERATES WINDY SITES M = TOLERATES MARITIME EXPOSURE

HARDINESS ZONES 1(HARDIEST) TO 10:- MOST OF BRITAIN IS IN ZONE 7 OR 8 WITH SOME UPLAND AND NORTHERN AREAS BEING COLDER WHILST WESTERN AND SOUTHERN COASTAL AREAS ARE MILDER.

When using this list it is important to remember that it can only contain a small portion of the information we hold on each plant. You are strongly advised to seek more information on any plant before making use of it in the manner suggested. This is especially important with any of the comments on edibility.

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