Return to the Gardening in Shade Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
unusual shade plants

Posted by raineycats 5b (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 6, 07 at 16:02

I'm interested in putting a few new, unusual or unexpected plants into my shade gardens, which vary from dappled with some sun to solid shade. Only 2 conditions: 1. no cactus, and 2. I don't have much space to bring out-of-zone varieties indoors for the winter, so I pretty much need to stay with whatever will be happy during the winter in zones 5 thru 6. Any suggestions? Anything out there that will shock the neighbors? Make friends turn green with envy?
Your thoughts, please.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: unusual shade plants

What do you consider "old", "usuual" or "expected"?


 o
RE: unusual shade plants

There are a lot of good native woodland plants that people are not familiar with: trillium, jack in the pulpit, solomon's seal, and others. The native gingers (hexastylis and asarum) have the most unusual flowers.


 o
RE: unusual shade plants

Do you consider toadlilies unusual? If so, Tricyrtis 'Togen' is great. It has been described as a toadlily on steroids. Huge foliage, big flowers, rock hardy. Corydalis 'Blackberry Wine' can get pretty spectacular, blooming after the Spring things like Phlox divaricata. Mine is in full bloom now, and it scents the air around it with a good fragrance. To make the neighbors (& me) truly green with envy, get Corydalis 'Berry Exciting,' the yellow leaved version of 'Blackberry Wine.' Another special shade plant is a double Anemonella thalictroides 'Schoaf's Double,' with pink flowers. There are also some cool-looking new ferns, such as 'Dre's Dagger' & 'Lady in Red.' Lobelia 'Monet Moment' has large dark pink flowers & blooms for a very long time. My favorite unusual native is Caulophyllum thalictroides, the blue cohosh, which starts with darkpurple-blackish flowers with yellow and gets bright blue berries in the middle summer and has great looking foliage.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Spring flowers

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
In back right (foliage)


 o
RE: unusual shade plants

Oh, I forgot (because I don't have them) Mukdenia rossii 'Crimson Fans' and double flowered Trillium grandiflorum & double flowered Sanguinaria canadensis. Very high drool factor.


 o
RE: unusual shade plants

many thanks to all, especially entling & esh ga! i copied the plants you suggested and now am on a mission to locate as many as possible . WOW!! the drool factor is in full play!
-- rainey


 o
RE: unusual shade plants

Do you have Brunnera 'Jack Frost'? It's a gorgeous plant even after the blooms are done.


 o
RE: unusual shade plants

I agree about "jack frost" brunnera--I've had it since last year & it's grown leaps & bounds in the mostly shade (perhaps 2 hours midday sun) & its leaves are quite striking. Had you thought about tradescantia? It's gotten a bad rap for its "untidyness" but I love the effect of "sweet kate" with its chartreuse/yellow wild sword blade leaves contrasted with its blue/violet flower petals. And it, too, is flourishing in the same spot.


 o
RE: unusual shade plants

epimediums are my current fav

Here is a link that might be useful: Naylor Creek epimediums


 o
RE: unusual shade plants

I don't know if you'd consider it unusual, but my favorite is Corydalis Lutea. It blooms May-frost here.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


 o
RE: unusual shade plants

Epimediums, tricyrtis, hellebores, rohdea japonica, spiranthes, bletilla striata, hakonechloa, asarum, actea pachypoda-there are so many! & I'm lucky, 'cause I have lots of shade....


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Gardening in Shade Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here