Pieris floribunda

Betbear(4A)August 9, 2013

I'm looking for a shrub that will be red or reddish (or have red leaf tips etc) in medium shade. This is under a few trees, gets some dappled sunlight and some reflected sunlight. I can add supplemental water, so moisture isn't a problem.

I was thinking about Pieris Floribunda (mountain andromeda.)

(Note: NOT Pieris Japonica - the two seem to be confused all the time!)

Anybody in Z4 or lower have experience with this shrub?

I've also considered smokebush, so any experience with that or other recommendations are appreciated. I don't want to plant anything that will die or green-out in the shade.
Thanks in advance.

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Pieris floribunda does not have the brightly colored new growth - that's P. japonica and the hybrids (some, not all). And it is only marginally hardy in zone 4. Smokebush is not hardy at all in zone 4 and needs sun to maintain any dark coloring. About the only thing I can think of that might work are perennials rather than shrubs - Actaea racemosa (used to be Cimicifuga) 'Brunette' or 'Black Negligee' or Ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford'. These offer pretty dark (not exactly red) foliage and are very happy in shade. And all manner of dark leaved heucheras could work but these are small and many also "green" out in much shade.

Dark colored - red or purple - foliage in shade is not at all common and even less so with shrubs. And the limitations of your zone kind of decrease any possible selection further.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:09PM
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You might consider ninebark (physocarpus), reportedly winter hardy in your zone. Some varieties have reddish/purplish leaf coloration. I have seen 'Diabolo' hold the purplish color in dappled shade. 'Coppertina' has a brighter color, but I have no experience with how well it holds that color in shady conditions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Missour Botanical Garden: Physocarpus

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 11:19AM
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