Shady Spaces

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 The shaded areas of your garden can be just as bright and appealing as the sunny ones! From Hostas and Heucheras to Hydrangeas and Athyriums, the unique colors and textures of their blooms and foliage will create exciting new effects or superbly accent existing specimens. These shade-loving perennials turn all those dim areas, from part to full shade, into a delightful oasis that will only increase in beauty year after year! 

Perennials and Ferns


Scientific Name
Common Name
HeightLightMoistureAdiantum pedatumMaidenhair Fern1-2 ft
Shade/pt. shade
Moist
Arisaema triphyllumJack-in-the-pulpit1-3 ftShade/pt. shadeWet/moist
Aruncus dioicus
Goat's-beard3-6 ft
Shade/pt. shade
Wet/moist
Asarum canadenseWild Ginger6-12 inches
Shade
Moist
Athyrium filix-feminaLady Fern1-3 ft
Pt. shade
Wet/moist
Cimicifuga racemosa
Black Cohosh
2-8 ft
Shade/pt. shadeMoist
Dicentra exima
Bleeding Heart
1-2 ft
Shade/pt. shade
Moist
Erythronium americanum
Dogtooth Violet
6-12 inches
Shade/pt. shade
Moist
Impatiens capensis
Jewelweed
1-5 ft
Shade/pt. shade
Wet/moist
Iris cristata
Dwarf Crested Iris
4-8 inches
Shade/pt. shade
Moist
Matteuccia struthiopteris
Ostrich Fern
3-5 ft
Shade/pt. shade
Wet/moist
Mertensia virginica
Virginia Bluebells
1-2 ft
Shade/pt. shade
Moist
Onoclea sensibilis
Sensitive Fern
1-3 ft
Shade/sun
Wet/moist
Osmunda cinnamomeaCinnamon Fern
2-5 ft
Shade/sun
Wet/moist
Osmunda regalis
Royal Fern
2-4 ft
Shade/pt. shade
Wet/moist
Phlox stolonifera
Creeping Phlox
6-12 inches
Shade/pt. shade
Moist
Polemonium reptans
Jacob's Ladder
1-2 ft
Shade/pt. shadeMoist
Polygonatum biflorum
Solomon's Seal
1-4 ft
Shade/pt. shade
Moist
Polystichum acrostichoides
Christmas Fern
1-2 ft
Shade/pt. shade
Moist
Sanguinaria canadensis
Bloodroot
6-12 inches
Shade/pt. shade
Moist
Senecio aureus
(Packera aurea)
Golden Ragwort
1-2 ft
Shade/sun
Wet/moist
Smilacena racemosa
False Solomon's Seal
1-3 ft
Shade/pt. shade
Moist
Stylophorum diphyllum
Celandine Poppy
1-2 ft
Shade/pt. shade
Moist
Tiarella cordifolia
Foam Flower
6-12 inches
Shade/sun
Moist
Tradescantia virginiana
Spiderwort
1-3 ft
Shade/sun
Moist
Trillium grandifl

Ground covers

Following X is ShadeUSDA Hardiness Zone

Bishop's weed,Aegopodium podagrariaX4-9

*Bugle-weed, Ajuga reptansX3-9

Bearberry,Arctostaphylos uva-ursiX5-8

Wild Ginger, Asarum canadenseXXX4-8

Astilbe, Astilbe species and cultivarsX3-8

Japanese painted fern, Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum'X5-8

Plumbago, Ceratostigma plumbaginoidesX6-9

Lily of the Valley, Convallaria majalisX4-9

Barrenwort, Epimedium speciesX5-9*

Wintercreeper, Euonymus fortuneiX5-9

Sweet woodruff, Galium odoratumXX4-7*

Creeping wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbensXX3-5*

Box huckleberry, Gaylussacia brachyceraXX5-7*

English Ivy, Hedera helixX5-11

Lenten rose, Helleborus orientalisX4-9

Coral bells, Heuchera species and hybridsX3-8

Foam bells, Heucherella hybridsX3-8

Plantain-lily, Hosta species and cultivarsX4-9

St Johnswort, Hypericum calycinumX5-9

Crested iris, Iris cristataXXX3-8*

Yellow archangel, Lamiastrum galeobdolonX4-8*

Deadnettle, Lamium maculatumX4-8Lily-turf, 

Liriope spicata, L. muscariX6-11

Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummulariaX4-8*

Russian arborvitae, Microbiota decussataX3-8

Mondo grass, Ophiopogon japonicusX6-11

*Allegheny spruge, Pachysandra procumbensXX5-9

*Japanese Spurge, Pachysandra terminalisXX4-8*+

Sweet box, Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilisXX6-8Stonecrop, 

Sedum speciesFoam flower, Tiarella cordifoliaXXX3-7

*Periwinkle, Vinca minorXXX4-9 


Shrubs

 Glossy abelia, Abelia x grandifloraXX6-9

Red chokeberry, Aronia arbutifoliaXX4-9*

Wintergreen barberry, Berberis julianaeX6-8

Mentor barberry, Berberis x mentorensisXX5-8

Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergiiX4-8*

Boxwood (Buxus microphylla and B. sempervirens)XX6-8

Common sweetshrub, Calycanthus floridusXX4-9

Summersweet, Clethra alnifoliaX4-9

Sweetfern, Comptonia peregrinaXX2-5

Corneliancherry dogwood, Cornus masX4-7

Gray dogwood, Cornus racemosaXXX3-8

Buttercup winter hazel, Corylopsis paucifloraXX6-8

Hazelnut, Corylus speciesX4-8*

+Daphne, Daphne speciesXX4-7

Dwarf fothergilla, Fothergilla gardeniiX5-8

itchhazel, Hamamelis speciesXX4-8

Oakleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifoliaXX5-9

Aaronsbeard St. Johnswort, Hypericum calycinumX5-8*

Holly, Ilex speciesXX5-8

Virginia sweetspire, Itea virginicaXX5-9

*Laurel, Kalmia speciesXXX4-9

Japanese kerria, Kerria japonicaXXX4-9

*+Leuocothoe, Leucothoe speciesXX5-8

Privet, Ligustrum speciesXX4-7*

Oregon hollygrape, Mahonia aquifoliumXX5-7

Northern bayberry, Myrica pensylvanicaXX3-6

*Heavenly bamboo, Nandina domesticaXX6-9

*Paxistima, Canby, Paxistima canbyiXX3-7

Mock orange, Philadelphus coronariusX4-8

*Pieris, Pieris japonica and cultivarsXX4-7

Scarlet firethorn, Pyracantha coccineaXX6-9

*+Rhododendron, Rhododendron speciesXX4-8

Black jetbead, Rhodotypos scandensXXX4-8

Fragrant sumac, Rhus aromaticaXX3-9

Coralberry and Snowberry, Symphoricarpos speciesXXX4-7

*Yew, Taxus speciesXXX4-7

Viburnum, Mapleleaf, Viburnum acerifoliumXXX4-8

Viburnum, Arrowwood, Viburnum dentatumXX3-8

Blackhaw, Viburnum prunifoliumXX3-9 

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 Concolor fir, Abies concolorx4-7

Hedge maple, Acer campestreX5-8

Japanese maple, A. palmatumXX5-8

Red maple, A. rubrumXX3-9

Sugar maple, A. saccharumXX4-8

Freeman maple, A. x freemaniiXX4-7

Red buckeye, Aesculus paviaXX5-9

Black alder, Alnus glutinosaXX4-7

Juneberry, serviceberry, Amelanchier arobrea
and A. canadensisXX4-9

Allegheny serviceberry, A. laevisX4-8

Pawpaw, Asimina trilobaXXX5-8

European hornbeam, Carpinus betulusXX5-7

American hornbeam, Carpinus carolinaXXX3-9

Eastern redbud, Cercis canadensisX4-9

White fringe tree, Chionanthus virginicusX4-9

Pagoda dogwood, Cornus alternifoliaX3-7

Flowering dogwood, Cornus floridaX5-8

Kousa dogwood, Cornus kousa and C. kousa x C. florida hybridsXX5-8

Redvein enkianthus, Enkianthus campanulatusX5-7

European beech, Fagus sylvaticaXX4-7

Carolina silverbell, Halesia tetrapteraXX4-8

American holly, Ilex opacaX5-9

Sweetbay magnolia, Magnolia virginianaXX5-9

Black gum, Nyssa sylvaticaXX4-9

Ironwood, American hophornbeam,
Ostrya virginianaX3-9

Sourwood, Oxydendrum arboreumX5-9

White spruce, Picea glaucaX2-6

Staghorn sumac, Rhus typhinaXX

4-8Japanese snowbell, Styrax japonicusX5-7

Western arborvitae, Thuja plicataX2-7

Amercan basswood, Tilia americanaX3-8

Canadian hemlock, Tsuga canadensisXX3-7

American elm, Ulmus americana (specifically new hybrid elms e.g., 'Valley Forge, New Harmony')XX3-9

Lacebark elm, U. parvifoliaXX5-9