Cardinal in the snow

Watching the Birds

This cardinal enjoys the snowy landscape at Theodore Roosevelt Park.

Nandina Domestica

Nandina BushNandina Domestica is a hardy, adaptable, broadleaf evergreen shrub.

Heavenly Bamboo

This shrub is also known as “heavenly bamboo,” because its erect, cane-like stems and foliage give it an appearance similar to bamboo.

From eastern Asia to the Upper West Side

Nandina BerriesNative to eastern Asia, Nandina grows well in Theodore Roosevelt Park among the dappled shade gardens by the Nobel monument. Often grown as a hedge, Nandina is pest-resistant and tolerant of both heat and cold. It requires little pruning, and maintains its beauty throughout the year.

In spring, lacy pink leaves appear, eventually turning green, and showy clusters of white flowers with bright yellow anthers grow above the foliage. In autumn, older leaves turn red or purple, and bright red berries mature and persist through the winter.


Oak Leaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia (oak leaf hydrangea)

Among the most magnificent shrubs in Theodore Roosevelt Park are the hydrangeas, paniculata, macrophylla, and quercifolia. Hydrangea quercifolia, also called oak leaf, is a flowering, upright, broad, rounded, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub native to the Southeastern portion of the United States. At maturity, the oak leaf grows to a height and width of 6 to 8 feet.

Fall Foliage

Leaves are large (8 to 12 inches), coarse-textured and lobed. In spring and early summer, this plant produces panicles of greenish-white flowers that change over time to light pink and brown color as the flowers age.  In fall, the large, oak-like leaves can turn beautiful shades of burgundy, red, orange and yellow. The bark of the stems is a cinnamon color. It exfoliates and remains attractive throughout the seasons.

Adapting to the Upper West Side

Hydrangea quercifolia is well-suited to the growing conditions in Roosevelt Park. The oak leaf hydrangea is low-maintenance and fairly drought tolerant. It can grow under direct sun for limited periods, but prefers dappled sun and partial shade. In our park, we mass oak leaf with paniculata, macrophylla, hosta, sedum, heuchera, and anemones. Plants fill in and shade the garden beds, allowing little room for invasive weeds.

oak leaf hydrangea