Deciduous trees and shrubs with ornamental flowers

Aesculus - Horse chestnut, Buckeye

Aesculus is a genus in the family Sapindaceae with around 20 species native to N-America and Eurasia. One of the characteristics of the genus are the palmately divided leaves and white or pink flowers in large pyramid shaped flower spikes. Their seeds are called conkers. The species of the genus are toxic.  


Amelanchier - Serviceberry

Amelanchier is a small genus of around 20 species in the rose family,  Rosaceae,  distributed around temperate regions in N-America, Europe and Asia, with the greatest diversity in N-America. They are trees or shrubs with clusters of white flowers, some species bear edible berries. 


Berberis - Barberry

Berberis is a large genus of close to  200 species in the family Berberidaceae, distributed around temperate and warm temperate regions of the world. Most species grow in S-America, Africa and Asia. They are either deciduous or evergreen, thorny shrubs with small yellow or orange flowers.


Chaenomeles - Flowering quince

Chaenomeles is a genus in the rose family, Rosaceae, that only includes three species, all native to E-Asia. They are showy, spring flowering shrubs that all flower orange or red flowers before leafing out 


  • Chaenomeles japonica

  • Chaenomeles x superba

    • 'Crimson and Gold'


Chiliotrichum  is a small genus of four species in the aster family, Asteraceae,  which are all native to the southern part of S-America, Argentina and Chile. They are shrubs with narrow, greyish leaves and white, daisy-like flowers. 


Cornus - Dogwoods

Cornus is a genus of around 30-60 species in the family Cornaceae distributed around northern temperate regions. The species that can be grown here have clusters of small, white flowers, but many species that grow in warmer climates have large, showy flowers that play a big role in the spring time flower extravaganza. 


Cotoneaster - Misplar

Ættkvíslin Cotoneaster, misplar, er ættkvísl í rósaætt, Rosaceae með útbreiðslu um tempruðubelti Evrasíu. Tegundafjöldi er mjög breytilegur, frá um 70 til 300 eftir því hvernig tegundir eru skilgreindar. Mestur tegundafjöldi er í fjöllum SV-Kína og Himalajafjöllum. Flestar tegundir eru runnar, jarðlægar tegundir vaxa hátt til fjalla, hærri runnar nær sjávarmáli.


  • Cotoneaster adpressus - skriðmispill

  • Cotoneaster congestus - kúlumispill/slútmispill

  • Cotoneaster integerrimus - grámispill

  • Cotoneaster lucidus - gljámispill

  • Cotoneaster x suecicus - breiðumispill

    • 'Skogholm'​

  • Cotoneaster purpureus​​​ - purpuramispill

    • 'Variegatus'​

Crataegus - Hawthorns

Crataegus is a large genus in the rose family, Rosaceae, with close to 200 species distributed around temperate regions in Eurasia and N-America, where the greatest species diversity is. They are trees or shrubs, often with thorns, that have clusters of white or pink flowers and berries that are an important food source for wildlife in their native habitats. 

Cytisus - Brooms

Cytisus is a genus of around 50 species in the pea family, Fabaceae. They are native to scrublands or heaths in Europe, N-America and western Asia. These are shrubs, with dense, upright, green branches, small thread-like leaves and yellow, red or pink flowers that smother the shrubs while they are in flower. 



Daphne is a genus in the Thymelaeaceae family. The genus is native to regions in Asia, Europe and N-Africa. They are deciduous or evergreen shrubs, many procumbent. Many flower in late winter or early spring. The flowers are small, greenish, white or pink. The berries are very toxic. 



Deutzia is a genus of around 50 species in the Hydrageaceae family. Their main distribution area is in China, but a few species are native to Central-America, Europe  and Central- and East-Asia. They are shrubs with clusters of white or pink flowers


  • Deutzia x hybrida

  • Deutzia scabra​

    • 'Plena'​


Forsythia is a genus of 11 species in the family Oleaceae, which are all native to Asia, except one which is native to SE-Europe. All species flower in spring, before leafing out, yellow flowers.



Holodiscus  is a genus in the rose family, Rosaceae., that includes 10 species, all of which are native to N- and S-America. They are  shrubs that flower long, drooping clusters of tiny, white flowers.


Laburnum - Golden rain

Laburnum is a genus in the pea family, Fabaceae. The genus includes only two species, both native to mountains in S-Europe. They are small trees with trifoliate leaves and long, hanging clusters of yellow flowers. They are highly toxic. 


  • Laburnum alpinum

  • Laburnum x watereri

    • 'Vossii'

Lonicera - Honeysuckle

Lonicera is a large genus in the famly Caprifoliaceae. Around 180 species belong to the genus, with a wide distribution around the northern hemisphere, the majority in China. The majority are climbers, but most species grown in Iceland are shrubs. The flowers can be white, yellow, pink or red, usually borne in pairs. 


Malus - Apples

Malus is a genus of 30-50 species in the rose family, Rosaceae, with a wide distribution around temperate regions in the northern hemisphere. The apple, Malus pumila, which is an important food crop belongs to the genus, other species are grown as ornamental plants. Apple species need at least two plants in close proximity for the fruit to ripen.

Philadelphus - Mock orange

Philadelphus is a genus in the Hydrangeaceae family, with around 60 species of shrubs, native to N- and Central-America, Asia and SE-Europe. The flowers are white and usually very fragrant.

  • Philadelphus caucasicus 

    • 'Aureus'​

  • Philadelphus coronarius

    • 'Þórunn Hyrna'​

  • Philadelphus lewisii 

    • 'Tähtisilmä'

  • Philadelphus x virginalis

    • 'Minnesota Snowflake'​

Physocarpus - Ninebark

Physocarpus is a genus of around 6-20 species in the rose family, Rosaceae. Their main distribution area is N-America, with one species in NE-Asia. They are deciduous shrubs with palmate leaves and clusters of small, white or pink flowers.


Potentilla - Cinquefoils

The genus Potentilla belongs to the rose family, Rosaceae, and includes over 300 species, most of which are herbaceous plants. A few are shrubs and one of them, P. fruticosa, is a popular garden plant here in Iceland.



Prunus is a genus in the rose family, Rosaceae, and includes around 430 species with a wide distribution around the northern hemisphere. Many popular fruit trees belong to the genus, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots and almonds. They are small trees that often flower before leafing out, white or pink flowers. 


Ribes - Currants

Ribes is a genus in the family Grossulariaceae, native to temperate regions in the northern hemisphere. Edible currants belong to the genus, but many species are also grown as ornamental shrubs. 

Sambucus - Elderberries

The genus Sambucus has a wide distribution around temperate and warm temperate regions. The genus was recently moved to the family Adoxaceae. Raw elderberries are toxic, but both flowers and cooked berries are used as culinary ingredients.


Sorbaria is a genus of 9 species in the rose family,  Rosaceae, most of which are native to E-Asia. The leaves resemble plants in the genus Sorbus. They bear clusters of small, white flowers. 


Sorbus - Rowan, Mountain Ash, Whitebeam

Sorbus is a large genus of around 100-200 species in the rose family, Rosaceae, widely distributed around the northern hemisphere. Some botanists believe the genus should be divided into four genera based on the shape of the leaves and fruit. Species with compound leaves (Rowan/Mountain Ash) would remain in the Sorbus genus, whereas species with simple leaves would be moved to the genus Aria (Whitebeam). That division is not followed here.


Spiraea - Spirea

Spiraea​​ is a genus of around 80-100 species of shrubs in the rose family, Rosaceae, native to northern temperate regions. Most species diversity is in E-Asia. They flower white or pink flowers in clusters or spikes. 

Symphoricarpos - Snowberry

Symphoricarpos is a small genus of around 15 species in the Caprifoliaceae family. Their main distribution area is in N- and Central-America, but one species is native to China. The berries are the main ornamental feature of the plant, they can be white, pink or red and can last on the shrub well into winter. The flowers are small, greenish white or pink.


  • Symphoricarpos albus

    • 'Svanhvít'​

  • Symphoricarpos x door​enbosii 

    • 'Marleen'​

Syringa - Lilacs

Syringa is a small genus of around 12 species in the family Oleaceae, native to shrublands and woodlands from SE-Europe to E-Asia. They are small trees or shrubs with large panicles of small, white, pink, lilac or purple, often fragrant, flowers.


  • Syringa x prestoniae

  • Syringa x henryi 

  • Syringa josikaea

  • Syringa reflexa

  • Syringa sp. 'Bríet'

  • Syringa tomentella

  • Syringa yunnanensis

  • Syringa wolfii

    • 'Valkyrja'​


Viburnum is a genus of around 150-175  species native to temperate regions in the northern hemisphere. It was formerly classified in the Caprifoliaceae family, but has now been moved to the family Adoxaceae. The flowers are small, white or pink, borne in clusters. In some species the flower cluster is surrounded by larger, infertile flowers that serve the purpose of attracting insects. 


  • Viburnum carlesii

    • 'Aurora'​

  • Viburnum edule

    • 'Funi'

  • Viburnum lantana

  • Viburnum ovatum


Weigela is a genus in the Caprifoliaceae family. All species of the genus are native to E-Asia. The flowers are trumpet shaped in small clusters, white, yellow, pink or red.