Accent Trees

Accent trees are an added touch in landscape areas that need an anchor plant or focal point to complete the overall design. Many are small trees but mid-size or even large ones can work well for some spaces.

East Palatka holly trees

Accents have a distinguishing characteristic - often flowers - that makes them stand out. But they can also feature unique leaf color or shape, unusual texture or growth direction, as well as form.

In this section we highlight non-flowering Florida landscape trees and plants that add the finishing touch to your landscape.

Click on the links below in each paragraph to learn more about this wonderful group of accents.

Columnar trees

Tall and narrow landscape trees that make an elegant statement...often used against the side of a house.

South Florida columnar trees include stately Italian cypress and the beautiful false ashoka tree.

Pyramid-shaped trees

Teardrop shape, larger at the base and smaller toward the top. Like the East Palatka hollies pictured above, these often have that "up North" look, with a sturdy, compact, "Christmas tree" form.

These trees work well singly near the corner of the house, since most grow slowly and don't take up a lot of space. Also great as a garden bed anchor or a stand-alone yard specimen.

Group planting uses include flanking the driveway entrance, a backdrop for flowers, creating a privacy hedge and/or acting as windbreak trees.

Some can be shaped with regular trimming to keep the pyramid form, keeping them fairly full to the ground or cleaning up the trunk.

Pyramidal trees include hollies such as Nellie Stevens, Dahoon and East Palatka.

Also in this group is the striking silvery Arizona cypress.

Other lovely pyramid form trees are Japanese blueberry and southern red cedar.


Arborvitae can be used as a large, rounded bush or tree for privacy and shade.

Unusual accents

Plants with unique appeal...unusual form, foliage color or texture.

Kopsia and yaupon holly (pictured below - see Holly Tree link above) can be grown as small shade trees.

Weeping yaupon holly tree

Clusia rosea and fiddle leaf fig are sometimes grown as larger trees.

Other unusual accents include Australian tree ferndwarf black olive, and screw pine.

Tree-like shrubs

Large shrubs can be used as accent trees as well...flowering ones (see Small Flowering Trees for these) or those that don't have showy blooms - such as ligustrum and silver buttonwood.

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