Autumn Colour Sparkler, autumn colour (3)Autumn Colour Sparkler, autumn colour (3)

Spectacular Autumn Colour

By 1st October 2017

Autumn colour: the most reliable plants for Scotland.

Ken Cox's Choice. Best autumn colour is achieved in dry crisp autumns. Mild wet ones are less impressive. Most of those listed below will colour well every year.


Autumn colour is caused by sugars in the leaves which turn to red, orange and yellow as the green chlorophyll in the leaves starts to fade and the leaves die and dry up. 

 Autumn Colour Sparkler, autumn colour (3)

Acer palmatum (Japanese maple), incl. A. palmatum ‘Osakasuki’ (probably the best of all)

Berberis thunbergii

Betula (birch)

Cotinus ‘Grace’ Autumn Colour Cotinus Grace autumn colour (1)


Euonymus alatus, E. europaeus ‘Red Cascade’





Rhododendron (azalea) luteum and other deciduous azaleas

Rhus typhina

Saskatoon (Amelanchier)



Some of the other trees and shrubs famed for Autumn colour dont always colour well in Scotland due to the lack of crisp dry Autumn weather: Liquidambar, Liriodendron, can be good or disappointing depending on the year.



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