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Shady Business: Creating Beautiful Shade Gardens: Shady Plant Selections

Helleborus x hybridus 'White Lady Spotted'; photo by Ivo Vermeulen
Helleborus x hybridus 'White Lady Spotted'; photo by Ivo Vermeulen

Low Maintenance

Botanical Name

Common Name

Amsonia
blue star
Aruncus
goat's beard
Asarum
ginger
Astilbe
astilbe
Bergenia
elephant's ear
Brunnera
Siberian bugloss
Euphorbia
wood spurge
Helleborus
hellebore
Hosta
hosta
 

Colorful Flowers

Botanical Name

Common Name

Aconitum
monkshood
Ajuga
bugleweed
Astilbe
astilbe
Brunnera
Siberian bugloss
Chelone
turtle head
Cornus canadensis
bunchberry
Corydalis
corydalis
Cypripedium
yellow lady's slipper
Dicentra
bleeding heart
Digitalis
foxglove
Heuchera
coral bells
Ligularia
ligularia
Mertensia
Virginia bluebells
Phlox divaricata
wood phlox
Pulmonaria
lungwort
Stylophorum
celandine poppy
Thalictrum
meadow rue
Tricyrtis
toad lily

 

Cool Foliage

Botanical Name

Common Name

Acanthus
bear's breeches
Arisaema
jack-in-the-pulpit
Bergenia
elephant's ears
Caladium
caladium
Hakoncloa
Japanese hakone grass
Heuchera
coral bells
Jeffersonia
twinleaf
Podophyllum
mayapple
Polygonatum
Solomon's seal
Pulmonaria
lungwort
Maianthemum or Smilacina
false Solomon's seal
Tiarella
foamflower
Uvularia
bellwort

Groundcovers

Botanical Name

Common Name

Chrysogonum
green and gold
Cornus canadensis
bunchberry
Epimedium
barrenwort
Galax
wandflower
Lamium
dead nettle
Pachysandra procumbens
Allegheny spurge
Phlox divaricata
wood phlox
Shortia
Oconee bells
Tiarella
foam flower
Vancouveria
inside-out-flower
 

Deer Resistant

Botanical Name

Common Name

Alchemilla
lady's mantle
Amsonia
bluestar
Aquilegia
columbine
Aruncus
goat's beard
Bergenia
elephant's ear
Cimicifuga or Actea
bugbane
Epimedium
barrenwort
fern
fern
Geranium macrorrhizum
bigroot geranium
Helleborus
hellebore
Kirengeshoma
yellow wax bells
Lamium
dead nettle
Pulmonaria
lungwort
Rodgersia
rodgersia

 

Shady Shrubs

Botanical Name

Common Name

Abelia
glossy abelia
Aronia
chokeberry
Aucuba
aucub
Calycanthus
sweetshrub
Cephalotaxus
Japanese plum-yew
Eleutherococcus
variegated fiveleaf aralia
Enkianthus
enkianthus
Fothergilla
fothergilla
Hamamelis
witch-hazel
Hydrangea quercifolia
oakleaf hydrangea
Ilex
holly
Kalmia
mountain laurel
Leucothoe
hobblebush
Pieris
andromeda
Rhododendron
azalea
Rhododendron
rhododendron

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Noteworthy Books on Shade Gardening