Maybe you've paused at the blueberry bushes on display at your local nursery, only to walk on by, thinking they might not provide the biggest pop of color to your yard. Growing your own summer fruit is nice, of course, but what about the rest of the year? Happily, plant breeders have been hard at work addressing just that issue. The result: new cultivars of classic edible plants that offer several seasons of interest by way of more ornamental foliage, spring flowers, fall color, or even bright stems in winter.
But don't think these plants' edible bounty is getting short shrift. Breeders usually start by focusing on better fruiting traits, like producing sweeter lemons or a plant that self-pollinates, then work on turning up the color. Most of these plants require full sun and an annual top-dressing of compost or a slow-release organic fertilizer for maximum fruit production. Some need acidic soil, which is easier to maintain in a container. Bonus: Many of these plants draw birds and butterflies to your yard, too.
Read further for a few new cultivars, along with older ones deserving a fresh look, that provide colorful flowers and foliage to go along with all that pleasing plucking.