Holly (Ilex spp.), of course, is well known for its red berries. In addition to dark-green, lustrous, spiny foliage, evergreen hollies offer stalkless, long-lasting, glossy-red berries on female plants only. Several deciduous holly species, such as winterberry holly (I. verticillata) and Japanese winterberry (I. serrata), display fruit that is even more impressive simply because it’s usually not hidden by foliage.
There is an endless list of crabapple cultivars that produce fruit in all shades of red, although sargent crabapple (M. sargentii) and zumi crabapple (Malus x zumi var. calocarpa) and their cultivars are regarded as the best performers. The tiny, spring flowers of the semi-evergreen shrub cotoneaster are attractive, but the cranberry-red berries that follow are its most ornamental feature in my opinion. Unlike cotoneasters, viburnums are mainly grown for their beautiful, fragrant white blooms, but their display of bright-red fruit is also impressive. Old favorites include two cranberry viburnums, V. opulus and V. trilobum. The list of red-berry producers must include the spiny barberry (Berberis spp.). My personal favorite is ‘Rose Glow’ (Berberis thunbergii), which has attractive bi-colored foliage and bears shiny bead-like berries.
The glossy red berries of the Rose Glow barberry