The American Midwest can experience hot summers, but the cold temperatures of winter are what typically determines which types of flowering shrubs landscapers may utilise in the region. The northern Midwest falls within USDA Plant Hardiness zones 2 and 3, where minimum winter lows may be 50 below zero Fahrenheit. Even in the southern portions of the Midwest, including parts of Missouri, Indiana and Illinois, may see the mercury drop below zero. The hardiness of these native flowering shrubs of the Midwest, as well as their capacity for handling different growing conditions, separates them from many southern species and makes them viable options for your property.
Native to eastern sections of the Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana and southern Wisconsin, arrowwood vibernum (Viburnum dentatum) grows to 10 feet. Expect this shrub to flower from May through June, with the flowers attracting butterflies and the resulting fruit luring birds into view. Arrowwood viburnum, named for the habit of Native American using its straight stems as arrow shafts, is very winter hardy, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. The creamy white flower clusters give this shrub ornamental value in spring.
Use the flowering bush meadowsweet (Spirea alba) on wet portions of your acreage, as this shrub can handle damp soil as long as it drains sufficiently. Meadowsweet is native to much of the Midwest, growing in both sun and shade. Meadowsweet's flowers bloom all summer long, with the white blossoms occurring in clusters shaped like cones at the end of its branches. Meadowsweet is a butterfly magnet and you can employ its flowers in cut flower arrangements.
One of the earliest flowering bushes in North America, the pussy willow (Salix discolour) is common in the Upper Midwest. Pussy willow buds on the male bushes open as early as late February, revealing a white and silky flower head. No leaves are on the bush when the flowers emerge, making this an attractive shrub for wet areas. The pussy willow can grow to 15 feet, but the Missouri Botanical Garden advises that you can trim the bush all the way to the ground every few years to keep it small and manageable.
Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus) is native to the Midwest, being more common in southern sections of this region. Growing to 4 feet, coralberry blooms in the early summer, producing white flowers with a bell shape. The bush has blue-green leaves, but perhaps its best feature is the berries that the flowers yield, which are red and remain on the shrub into winter. Coralberry will propagate through its suckering root system if you allow it to. Deer are quite fond of this bush, as its nickname of "buckbush" would indicate, notes Illinois Wildflowers.