Skip to main content
Updated date:

Trees and Shrubs With Edible Red Fruits for Birds (And You!)

Rachel is a passionate plantsperson, YouTuber and author living in Ireland. She grows a wide range of hardy subtropical and tropical plants.

In addition to masses of white flowers, the Szechuan strawberry tree, or Cornus kousa, produces strawberry-like fruits that last through fall and into winter.

In addition to masses of white flowers, the Szechuan strawberry tree, or Cornus kousa, produces strawberry-like fruits that last through fall and into winter.

I want to tell you about a bush and a small tree that produce attractive and edible fruits in autumn. These last into winter and are great for the birds, but they can also be collected and eaten.

Red fruits add splashes of color in an otherwise monochrome landscape, making your garden a pretty place to explore in winter.

Szechuan Strawberry (Cornus kousa)

My first plant is actually a small tree that produces vibrant red fruits in autumn and winter. The Szechuan strawberry or Cornus kousa is a superb tree—some might even go so far as to call it the best ornamental tree for a small garden.

There are lots of varieties, and all produce masses of white or pink bracts in spring. In autumn, the tree produces strawberry-like fruits. These are deep pink and edible. Just remove the skin and eat the berries raw. Each produces one or two large seeds, which are easily avoided.

Cornus kousa also has good autumn foliage. Grow Cornus kousa in full sun or part shade. This tree is suitable for hardiness zones 5 to 8.

Rosa rugosa, also known as the beach rose, produces gorgeous red rose hips in autumn, which can be made into jams or jellies or eaten by local birds.

Rosa rugosa, also known as the beach rose, produces gorgeous red rose hips in autumn, which can be made into jams or jellies or eaten by local birds.

Read More From Dengarden

Beach Rose (Rosa rugosa)

Rosa rugosa forms a dense bush that flowers in summer with scented pink or white blooms. These turn into rose hips in autumn, and the pink-red color contrasts beautifully with the rose's yellowing foliage. The shrub rose's large fruits are much loved by the birds, and the vibrancy of color is very striking.

The rose hips are edible and can be made into jams or jellies. Rosa rugosa makes a great flowering hedge. Grow in full sun or part shade in hardiness zones 2 to 7.

Happy Growing!

So why not grow some attractive red fruits in your garden and share them with the birds?

More Late-Season Gardening Ideas

If you're looking to plan a garden that's just as beautiful in fall and winter as it is in spring and summer, here are a few fantastic plants to include in your design.

© 2021 Rachel Darlington

Related Articles