Suggested Perennials for Shade

All of the following hardy perennials grow well in light or partial shade (1/2 day of direct sun, or light filtered through a high tree canopy). Plants marked with an asterisk (*) also grow well in moderate shade (less than 1/2 day of sun). Plants that tolerate light to dense shade are indicated with two asterisks (**). The varieties below are listed alphabetically by botanical name.

Bear's Breech (Acanthus mollis)
2-3'pink flowers/large, glossy, handsome leaves
Ladybells (Adenophora lilifolia)
late summer
12-18"blue bell-like flowers on spikes
Bugleweed** (Ajuga varieties)
6"blue/foliage varies
Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris (A. Mollis))
late spring/summer
Windflower or Anemone - all species and hybrids (Anemone)
September to frost
30-36"white, pink
Columbine - all species and hybrids * (Aquilegia)
12-30"mixed colors
Goatsbeard* (Aruncus dioicus; A. aesthusifolius)
Canadian (wild) Ginger ** (Asarum canadense)9-12"beautiful foliage
European Ginger ** (Asarum europaeum)
foliage plant or groundcover
4-6"glossy-green, heart-shaped leaves
Astilbe * (Spirea or Goatsbeard) (Astilbe - all species and hybrids)
18-36"white, pink, red, lavender
Hardy Begonia * (Begonia grandis)
15-24"H. pink
Bergenia or Saxifrage * (Bergenia cordifolia cultivars)>br>summer10-16"pink, white, red
Siberian Bugloss * (Perennial Forget-Me-Not) (Brunnera macrophylla)
18"blue/large, rounded leaves
Bellflower (Campanula species and hybrids)variable w/ speciesblue and white
Hardy Plumbago * (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)
6-10"blue flowers/red fall foliage
Turtlehead (Chelone obliqua)
2-3"purple, white
Snakeroot (or Bugbane) * (Cimicifuga racemosa; C. simplex)
Lily-of-the-Valley ** (Convallaria majalis)
6-8"white bells
Dwarf Bleeding Hearts ** (Dicentra exima 'Snowdrift') (Dicentra formosa 'Luxuriant') (dwarf varieties) all summer12-15"white, pink
Bleeding Heart** (Dicentra spectabilis) May/June2-3'deep, pink/white
Foxglove (Species and hybrids)* (Digitalis - all varieties) June/July24-42"mixed colors
Leopard's Bane (Doronicum cordatum) June15"yellow
Barrenwort* (Epimedium varieties) May6-9"red, yellow, pink, lavender or white
Hardy Ferns - all varieties**6-48"feathery green fronds
Meadowsweet* (Filipendula varieties) Summer18-60"white or pink
Funkia (see Hosta)*
Sweet Woodruff* (Galium odoratum) June8"white
Hardy Geranium (Geranium species and hybrids) Early Summer6-24"white, pink blue, magenta
Hellebores (Lenten Rose, etc)* (all Helleborus species and hybrids) Summer15-24"white, pink, purple, green
Daylily (Hemerocallis hybrids) Summer15-24"mixed
Coral Bells (Heuchera species and hybrids) June8-15"pink, red, white
Hosta (species and hybrids)* Summer12-30"white, lavender flowers/green, glaucous blue, or variegated leaves
Houttuynia* (Houttuynia cordata 'Varietata')6-12"leaves mixed green, pink, cream
Kirengeshoma* (Kirengeshoma koreana) Late Summerto 40"yellow flowers; maple-like leaves
Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon 'Hermans Pride') Summer8"yellow, silver var. leaves
Spotted Dead Nettle* (Lamium maculatum 'Beacon Silver' and 'White Nancy')10-15"pink, white, silvery-green leaves
Lilyturf* (Liriope muscari cultivars) August12"lavender/some with variegated foliage
Cardinal Flower* (Lobelia cardinalis) July/Septemberto 3'red
Loosestrife (Lythrum virgatum and cultivars)18-24"pink-red
Virginia Bluebells* (Mertensia verginica) Late Spring/Early Summer1-2'blue
Bee Balm (Monarda cultivars) Summer3'pink, red, white, purple
Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis species) May/June8-15"light blue
Mondo Grass* (Ophiopogon japinacus) August4-6"lavender/very narrow leaves
Allegehany Spurge** (Pachysandra procumbens)9-12"green leaves with silver marks
Dwarf Fleece Flower* (Persicaria afinis 'Border Jewel') Late Spring4"pink
False Dragonhead* (Physostegia virginiana) August/September2-3'pink, white
May Apple* (Podophyllum peltatum) Spring15-24"white
Jacob's Ladder* (Polemonium caeruleum) May/June15-18"blue
Variegated Solomon's Seal** (Polygonatum x hybridum 'Variegatum') July/August18.24"white, bell flowers; white-edged leaves
Primrose (Primula species and hybrids) April/June6-15"mixed colors
Lungwort** (Pulmonaria saccharata; P. longifolia) Spring6-10"blue/pink flowers marbled leaves
Bronzeleaf Rodger's Flower* (Rodgersia pinnata) Summer3-4'rose-red
Bloodroot** (Sanguinaria canadense) Early Spring8-12"white
Foamflower* (Tiarella cordifolia) April/June12"white/maple-like foliage
Meadow Rue* (Thalictrum varieties) July/August3-5'yellow/soft blue-green leaves
Spiderwort** (Tradescantia hybrids) All Summer18-30"blue, white, red, purple
Japanese Toad Lily* (Tricyrtis hirta) Early Fall18"white and purple
Trillium ** (Trillium species) Late Springto 15"white - Snow rillium, red - Wake Robin
Globeflower* (Trollius europaeus) May/August2'yellow, orange
Speedwell or Veronica (Veronica varieties)15-18"blue, white, pink
Violets* (Viola species and hybrids)6-10"purple, white, blue yellow
Barren Strawberry* (Waldsteinia ternata)6-8"yellow, strawberry-like flowers

Conservatory Plants

Flowering Maples (Abutilon hybrids)3-4'white or pink
Bear's Breech (Acanthus mollis)18-24"large, glossy, very handsome foliage; mauve flower spikes
Agapanthus species (Agapanthus) Summerto 3'long, strap-like foliage cluster of clear blue or white flowers
Clivia miniata Summer or February24"excellent, dar green, stump-like foliage; clear orange flowers with yellow center
Fuschias (all varieties)12-30"white, pink, red, or purple

© Rosedale Nurseries, Inc. 1994, 2015