Content Detail

Whether planted in sun or heavy shade, the black jetbead will prosper, making it a potential choice for shady sites. Use it as a specimen or border plant. Showy white flowers, crisp green foliage, and black fruit clusters make this shrub distinct throughout the growing season. This shrub does reseed and can be a problem in natural areas if not controlled.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small shrub (3-5 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Arching, Mounded, Multi-stemmed, Thicket-forming
  • Growth rate Fast

Size & form: 

This open, loosely branched, colony-forming shrub will grow to be 3 to 6 feet high and 4 to 9 feet wide.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Black jetbead is native to Japan and central China.

Attracts birds & wildlife: 

Birds eat the berries and can disperse them into woodland areas where it may become invasive. 

Bark color and texture: 

The young stems are green and smooth. The older stems are gray and reddish brown. 

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

The leaves are opposite, simple, 2 to 4 inches long with sharp, double serrated margins. They are bright to medium green with ribbed veins and a long pointed tip. It is one of the first shrubs to leaf out in spring.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

The flower is white and 4-petaled, appearing  at the tip of the branches. It blooms in late spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

The fruit is a shiny black cluster of 3-4 elliptical hard berries (drupe). It is persistent in winter.

Plant care: 

Black jetbead performs well in full sun to densely shaded sites. It is pH adaptable and does best in well-drained soil. It is a tough plant that tolerates polluted conditions and aerial salt spray.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Black jetbead can be considered invasive near natural areas in some states. Use it with caution. It has no serious disease or insect problems.

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