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Shade / Partial Shade Perennials

A display bed of hostas and ferns at our farm last summer
Duncan
Duncan

I often get customers that ask me-I’ve got a lot of shade; what can I grow? Well, that’s not such an easy question to answer! There are many degrees of shade-from a dense shade to dappled shade to bright light.

The first thing that I advise my customers to do is to “plot” their shade - actually observe the area at several times during the day in order to determine how much sun/shade the area REALLY gets. Once that is determined, you can use the perennial guidelines; just remember, plants that need more sun may still do well in the area although they will not bloom as much.

Heuchera Peach Flambe

Also remember - anything planted under a tree will be competing for water and nutrients with the tree, so it will need to be fed and watered! Lastly, the timing of the sun’s exposure needs to be considered - morning sun is much milder than afternoon sun, which needs to be taken into consideration when determining the actual exposure of the area in question.

Be sure to look for the indicating Contrary Mary Favorites - see the Top 10 List for more info! Plants If you would like to print this list, our catalog is available in PDF format.

Our complete selection of hostas, daylilies, and peonies are now available for mail order! However, because we sell larger, more mature plants, we are unable to ship plants on this page , so please come visit us our farm! Also, plant availability, sizes, and prices are subject to change, so check with us if you’re coming for something in particular.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Plant Name
Size
Container
Price
Actaea pachypoda 3’ ht #1 $12.95
Actaea pachypoda; photo courtesy Bluebird NurseryThis NATIVE is also called “Doll’s Eyes” because it in spring it produces small flowers which are then followed by glossy white berries with black “eyes”…very different and attractive. The foliage is bushy and composed of large compound leaves and stays attractive all season.
The following Lady’s Mantles are my favorite perennials - they have beautiful foliage even when not in flower, add texture and depth even in full shade, and have exquisite greenish yellow flowers. All I can say about them is wow, ya gotta try some!!!
Alchemilla ‘Gold Strike’ 12” ht

jumbo

$8.95

Alchemilla Gold Strike (photo courtesy Walters Gardens)This new Lady’s Mantle has adorable little velvety grey-green foliage with serrated edges—a smaller version of the Lady’s Mantle we all know and adore! Has masses of bright chartreuse flowers, is deer resistant, can grow in full shade to full sun (with adequate moisture), and attracts butterflies!
Alchemilla Erythropoda
6-8”
Jumbo
$8.95
The dwarf Lady’s Mantle
Alchemilla Mollis
12-18”
#1
$8.95
Lady's Mantle; photo courtesy of Walters GardensAlchemilla Mollis; photo courtesy of Walters GardensWith copious sprays of yellow-green flowers-will take full sun with water. Moisture sparkles like diamonds on foliage!
These anemones are great fall bloomers - they look delicate but sure aren’t!
Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’
40” ht in flower x 33” w
#1
$8.95
This plant got a good rating (none of the other Anemones got any higher!) from the Chicago Botanic Garden trials! It blooms from mid-September to mid-November (45+ days!) with single white flowers that have yellow stamens.
Anemone ‘Robustissima’
40” ht in flower x 40”w
#1
$8.95
This Grape Leaf Anemone got a good rating from the Chicago Botanic Garden trials too! It blooms from late August to mid-November (63+ days) with single pink flowers.
Anemone Sylvestris
12-15”
#1
$8.95
Anemone SylvestrisThis snowdrop anemone is a late spring bloomer with large, pure white flowers that give way to white, woolly fruit.
New!Aquilegia ‘Cardinal’
22”
Jumbo
$8.95
Aquilegia Cardinal (photo courtesy Walters Gardens)This adorable columbine features upward facing very large red and white flowers with showy spurs. Blooms for several weeks staring in spring and is a must for your woodland garden. I always know it is spring when the columbines show their cheery faces! (photo courtesy Walters Gardens)
Aquilegia ‘Lime Frost’
20”
#1
$8.95
Aquilegia Lime FrostGreat columbine with unique variegated foliage and purple blooms. Butterflies and hummers love them. Also known as Aquilegia ‘Woodside Strain.’
Arisaema triphyllum 18-24” ht 4½” pot $8.95
Arisaema triphyllumArisaema triphyllumThis NATIVE Jack-in-the Pulpit is what you remember seeing when you walked through your local woods as a young ‘un! The way-cool hooded flowers turn to bright red berries in the fall…three season interest! Slowly forms colonies, and will wow any garden visitors. As an aside ALL of our natives are nursery propagated; we would NEVER wild collect as that could eventually cause extinction! Need I say VERY limited?!
Aruncus ‘Guinea Fowl’ 24” ht

#1

$12.95

Aruncus Guinea FowlThis short Goatsbeard has outstanding ferny foliage and MASSES of plume-shaped creamy white foliage. This one looks AWESOME all season and is a must for bright shade to partial sun! Is deer resistant and is a Contrary fave!
Aruncus ‘Misty Lace’
18-24”
#1
$9.95
This new Goatsbeard is compact and has creamy white feathery plumes from early to mid-summer atop dark red stems. Foliage is great foil all season! Reputedly deer resistant too!
Top 10! Aruncus Aethusifolius
8-12”
#1
$8.95
Aruncus AethusifoliusAn adorable miniature Goatsbeard—it blooms its little heart out, then the foliage turns bronze in the fall. A Contrary Mary Top 10 Honorable Mention!
Asarum canadense
3-4”
Jumbo
$5.95
Asarum canadense; photo courtesy Prairie NurseryThis NATIVE Ginger is an excellent, no-brainer groundcover for shade—has heart-shaped foliage and a funny little near black flower borne under its leaves so it’s fertilized by the Garden Fairies!
Ceanothus Americanus (New Jersey Tea)
24-30”
#1
$12.95
Ceanothus Americanus - New Jersey TeaThis native’s leaves were once used as a substitute for tea! It has a shrub-like growth habit and is covered with bright white clusters of flowers in July and August—attracts hummingbirds that eat the small insects that pollinate it. It also can take full sun.
Cimicifuga ‘Chocoholic’ 30” ht

#1

$14.95

Cimicifuga Chocoholic (photo courtesy Walters Gardens)This short, compact Snakeroot has luscious purplish-black foliage and alluring fragrant bottle brush flowers that start pink and age to white in late summer. A yummy plant that is deer and rabbit resistant, attracts butterflies, and really gives the shade garden all season interest. A collector’s plant and VERY limited!
Clintonia umbellulata Foliage 8-12”, flowers 6-10” above foliage 4½” pot $10.95
Clintonia umbellulataThis NATIVE Speckled Wood Lily has thick, deep green, glossy, strap-like foliage (reminiscent of orchid foliage) with bright white, green, and purple speckled fragrant umbels of flowers rising above the foliage in mid to late spring. The flowers are followed by black berries. They like it cool and shady (and who doesn’t?!) Get yours quick before they’re gone!
Corydalis Lutea
12”
#1
$8.95
Corydalis LuteaTONS of bright yellow flowers over lacy blue foliage in late Spring, then sporadically ALL season! ANOTHER MUST HAVE!
Dicentra ‘Burning Hearts’ 10-12” ht

Jumbo

$14.95

Dicentra Burning Hearts (photo courtesy Walters Gardens)This new Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart has blue-grey finely dissected foliage and STRIKING rose-red heart shaped foliage ALL SEASON! Needs some moisture to prevent it going dormant, is deer resistant, and a hummer attractant! A MUST for serious plant addicts!
Dicentra Formosa ‘Luxuriant’
12”
#1
#2
$8.95
$12.95
Dicentra Luxuriant; photo courtesy Bluebird NurseryPink, longest blooming
Dicentra Spectabilis (Old-fashioned Bleeding Heart)
30”
#1
#2
$8.95
$12.95
Dicentra SpectabilisTHIS is the one Grandma grew! Pink, heart-shaped flowers May/June-may go dormant, but won’t if you keep it watered.
Digitalis lutea 18-24” ht 4½” pot $8.95
Digitalis luteaA Native PERENNIAL Foxglove, woo-hoo! It has clear bright yellow flower bells that open from the bottom of the stalk upwards from early to late summer above velvety green foliage. Will self-seed but is not invasive; disliked by deer and rabbits too! Can grow in quite a bit of sun with adequate moisture, but adores bright to partial shade.
Dracocephalum grandiflorum 8-12” ht Jumbo $9.95
This Lamium relative produces unusual dark blue hooded flowers June thru August. Likes moist partial shade; adored by butterflies!
Top 10! Fallopia Japonica Variegata
36-40”
#1
$13.95
Falopia Japonica; photo courtesy Bluebird NurseryBushy perennial that is REALLY outstanding! Stunning white-splashed foliage with pink stems and shocking coral new growth, sprays of white flowers in Aug-Sept. A Contrary Mary Top 10 pick!
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The following make great additions to your shade gardens. None are invasive but all will provide seasons-long foliage interest and are great contrasts to other shade-lovers.
Fern—Asplenium platyneuron 8-14” ht 4½” pot $12.95
This NATIVE fern (also called Ebony Spleenwort) has slender, deep green, tapering fronds and likes our limestoney soil! Will colonize slowly, and is another Garden Fairy attractor!
Fern-Athyrium ‘Apple Court’ 12” ht #1 $12.95
An adorable Japanese Painted fern with little “fingers” along the length and at the end of each frond. Also a very slow spreading groundcover!
Fern—Athyrium ‘Dre’s Dagger’
30-36”
#1
$12.95
Athyrium Dre's DaggerThis Lady Fern has billowy, feathery fronds that looks like they are reaching out to touch you…talk about texture and grace!
Fern—Athyrium ‘Frizelliae’ 12-18” ht #1 $9.95
Athyrium Frizelliae (photo courtesy Growing Colors)This Tatting Fern has unique fronds that are rolled together—looks like beads on a necklace! Arching habit and really stands out in your shade garden; rabbit resistant too!
Fern -  Athyrium ‘Ghost’ (Ghost Fern)
30”
#1
$12.95
Athyrium 'Ghost'A “haunting” cross between a painted and a southern Lady Fern---stunning silver fronds in rigid clump.
Fern - Dryopteris filix-mas ‘Crispa Cristata’
12-20”
#1
$12.95
Dryopteris filix mas Crispa CristataThis Crested Male Fern looks edible with its frilly, almost chartreuse-green fronds. Really different than the “average” garden fern! (Come see a great one in our display bed!)
Galium Oderatum (Sweet Woodruff)
8-10”
Jumbo
$5.95
Sweet WoodruffMy FAVORITE groundcover-it has bright green whorled foliage scented like new-mown hay, masses of pure white flowers in May that are used to flavor German May wine--- ANOTHER GOTTA HAVE!
The following are varieties of perennial geraniums—no garden should be without some of these beauties! They not only have unusual flowers, but attractive foliage spring thru late fall. When determining how much sun they can take, the general rule is that the larger foliage varieties need more shade, while the finely divided foliage can take full sun (with watering). Some more general info: g. Cantabrigiense makes a great groundcover, has aromatic foliage and good fall color, can take full sun; g. Cinereum needs a well-drained soil; g. Phaeum makes a great groundcover and can tolerate dry shade; g. Pratense needs to be deadheaded for rebloom, and, if cut back, will rebloom in fall; g. Sangiuneum is a very long bloomer, has great fall color, and can take full sun to almost full shade. Butterflies love them all.
Geranium Cantabrigiense ‘Biokova Karmina’
10”
#1
$9.95
Geranium KarminaPink flowers, great foliage
Geranium Cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’
10”
#1
$9.95
Geranium ‘Biokovo’White flowers, great foliage
Geranium pretense ‘Dark Reiter’ 10” ht #1 $12.95
Geranium pretense ‘Dark Reiter’; photo courtesy Bluebird NurseryThis offspring of ‘Midnight Reiter’ has deeply scalloped dark plum foliage and lilac blue flowers all summer—a knockout with chartreuse hostas like ‘Corn Muffins’, ‘Maui Buttercups’, and ‘Key West’! Deer and rabbit resistant too!
Geranium pratense ‘Midnight Reiter’
9”
#1
$9.95
A mounding Cransebill with very dark purple, lacy foliage and nearly true blue flowers. A slow grower…be patient! If grown in shade, foliage is dark green with purple highlights.
Geranium sang. ‘Max Frei’
8”
#1
$9.95
Geranium ‘Max Frei’Compact foliage with good fall color, many deep magenta flowers.
Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ 14” foliage ht., 28” flower ht. #1 $12.95
I was kind of unsure where to put this newbie, whether in sun or shade. I finally decided the shade sections as it does better for me getting at least a half day of shade (flowers last longer and foliage stays fresh all season). Best siting would probably be VERY bright shade or morning sun. Now that we have that figured out, let me describe this great plant! It has (you guessed it!) bright apricot/tangerine colored flowers from spring to mid-summer atop deep green, fuzzy, mounding foliage. Would look outstanding with dark or chartreuse Heucheras like ‘Lime Marmalade’, ‘Obsidian’ or ‘Citronelle’, or with Hakonechloa ‘All Gold’!
Gillenia trifoliate
2-3’
#1
$9.95
Gillenia trifoliate; photo courtesy Bluebird NurseryThis plant is native to the eastern U.S. and is also called Bowman’s Root, and likes moist soil to establish (although it is drought-tolerant once established). It has very unique, cut foliage with mahogany stems and a compact habit. The flowers are ethereal, white with red petioles, and form way-cool seed heads. It’s also deer-resistant!
Hellebores were the 2005 Perennial Plant of the Year, and for good reason ‘cause they are WAY-COOL! What other perennial do you know that has evergreen foliage and blooms while there is still snow on the ground (a real plant after our own Midwestern hearts!!) Some say that hellebores are destined to replace hostas as the easy-care plant for the shade!! They bloom for a very long time in the garden, and make excellent cut flowers too. Try some—they’re well worth investing in.
Top 10! Helleborus orientalis ‘Banana Cream Pie’ 22” ht

#1

$18.95

Hellebore Banana Cream PieThis beautiful Lenten Rose has early spring blooms of creamy yellow with red spots atop stiff deep green foliage. If you’ve never tried a Hellebore, you don’t know what you’re missing, and this one is a real winner! Looks great all season as the flowers stay for a long time and the foliage is always perfect! VERY limited! A Contrary Top 10 Honorable Mention!
Helleborus ‘Red Racer’ 20” ht #1 $14.95
Lenten Roses are becoming a REAL fave of mine (new in the top ten!) due to their STUPENDOUS foliage (it doesn’t even look real!) and persevering flowering habits (they start to bloom in the winter, for goodness sakes! AND their flowers last practically forever on the plant!). This one boasts HUGE (3.5”) velvety deep red rounded flowers; a gazillion flowers per plant too! (O.k., maybe only up to 75, which is REALLY amazing!). Give it a couple of years to establish and you’ll be saying BAZINGA too!
The following is a selection of unusual coral bells, grown for their outstanding foliage—they really make the shade garden, adding texture, depth, and interest. They look great as foils to hostas, or bordering a shady path. Next to Lady’s Mantle these are my favorites (gotta haves)!
New!Heuchera ‘Bella Notte’ 9” foliage ht, 13” flower ht

#1

$13.95

Heuchera Bella Notte (photo courtesy Terra Nova)A true “beauty” grown for both foliage and flower impact! Very deep, almost marbled foliage then sports MASSES of deep pink flowers atop dark red stems all summer….the hummers will swoon! (photo courtesy Terra Nova)
Heuchera ‘Berry Smoothie’ 16” foliage ht

#1

$13.95

Heuchera Berry Smoothie (photo courtesy Growing Colors)This VERY LIMITED collector’s Heuchera has bright purple-rose vigorous foliage that GLOWS in the garden! Berry, berry nice!
Heuchera ‘Black Beauty’
foliage 10”
#1
$13.95
Heuchera Black BeautyAnother “gotta-have” I’m afraid! This one has somewhat upright leaves that catch the light from all directions, revealing its many dimensions of color including ruby-red!
Top 10! Heuchera ‘Caramel
12” foliage ht
#1
$13.95
Heuchera CaramelA villosa hybrid that’s a strong and vigorous grower…similar to ‘Amber Waves’ in color but a better grower! Best grown in morning sun. A Contrary Mary Top 10 pick!
Heuchera ‘Citronelle’
10-12” foliage ht, 14” flower ht
#1
$13.95
Heuchera CitronelleThis sport of ‘Caramel’ has citron yellow foliage with silver undersides. Compact grower and as AWESOME as its parent!
Heuchera ‘Electra’ 7” foliage ht.

#1

$13.95

Heuchera Electra (photo courtesy Growing Colors)This VERY LIMITED collector’s Heuchera is a Dwarf variety with glowing chartreuse foliage that has deep red veins. Shocking!
Heuchera ‘Frosted Violet’
foliage 12-15”, flowers 28”
#1
$13.95
Heuchera 'Frosted Violet'This great new intro has burgundy-violet foliage accented by deep veining—color intensifies in the fall. Top it off with pink pearly flowers and it’s a winner!
Heuchera ‘Georgia Peach’ Foliage 14” ht, flowers 30” ht #1 $13.95
Heuchera Georgia Peach; photo courtesy of Walters GardensA villosa hybrid with glowing peach colored foliage that has silver overlay and white flowers. Pair her with ‘Blackout’ and ‘Obsidian’ for unbelievable impact!
Heuchera ‘Hercules’
15” foliage ht
#1
$13.95
Heuchera Hercules; photo courtesy of Walters GardensThis one has very marbled green and white foliage and deep red flowers….strong grower (what else would you expect?!) and forms a good sized mound.
Heuchera ‘Key Lime Pie’
12” foliage ht
#1
$13.95
Heuchera Key Lime PieHow could you not love this one named after my favorite dessert! Bright chartreuse foliage looks good enough to eat!
New!Heuchera ‘Lava Lamp’ Foliage 16” ht, flowers 30” ht #1 $13.95
Heuchera Lava Lamp (photo courtesy Walters Gardens)A VERY showy, large Coral Bell with coppery shimmering foliage and scads of cream flowers atop dark scapes….try her in containers too! (photo courtesy Walters Gardens)
New!Heuchera ‘Magnum’ Foliage 12” ht, flowers 16” ht #1 $13.95
Get ready to be impressed…this Baby’s got 10” (yep, 10”!) deep burgundy with silver marbled foliage….wowzers, bazinga and gadzooks! White flowers too!
Heuchera ‘Marvelous Marble’ Foliage 10” ht, flowers 24” ht #1 $13.95
Another morpher, with spring foliage starting purple, then changing to deep green with silver and purple mottling. Great grower and always interesting! Creamy white flowers.
Heuchera ‘Melting Fire’ Foliage 10” ht, flowers 18” ht #1 $13.95
Heuchera Melting Fire; photo courtesy of Walters GardensThis hot new Coral bell has bright red spring foliage that matures to deep maroon. Heavily ruffled and with great texture, it has masses of white flowers late spring to early summer!
Heuchera ‘Midnight Rose’ Foliage 10” ht, flowers 24” ht #1 $13.95
Heuchera Midnight Rose; photo courtesy of Walters GardensThis ‘Obsidian’ sport has smooth purple black foliage with hot pink splotches in the spring that lighten to creamy pink as the season progresses. All I can say is WOW! Flowers are insignificant.
Heuchera ‘Miracle’
8-10” foliage ht, 12-14” flower ht
#1
$13.95
Heuchera MiracleNow this one ‘tis a REALLY different Heuchera! Again, a color-changer with new leaves that are chartreuse with red in the center, maturing to brick red with chartreuse edges. Pair it up with ‘Citronelle’ or ‘Tiramisu’ and watch jaws drop!! Pink flowers.
Top 10! Heuchera ‘Obsidian’
foliage 10”
#1
$13.95
Heuchera  ObsidianThis one is on Contrary Mary’s Top 10 list, so you KNOW how wonderful it is! Shiny, broad, smooth, round leaves that are almost glassy in texture, it was named well! The black leaves are so smooth they almost appear to have been polished…a knock-out effect with any golden-foliaged plant!
Top 10! Heuchera ‘Peach Flambé’
8” foliage ht
#1
$13.95
Heuchera Peach FlambeStriking peach-colored leaves with red overtones that have a deep purple fall color. It is topped off with white flowers that have reddish purple scapes…flaming! A Contrary Mary Top 10 pick!
Heuchera ‘Pistache’ Foliage 10” ht, flowers 18” ht #1 $13.95
Heuchera Pistache; photo courtesy of Walters GardensA villosa hybrid, it has lime green to chartreuse large foliage and cream flowers. EXCELLENT with ‘Obsidian’, ‘Mocha’, and ‘Blackout’!
Heuchera ‘Tiramisu’
8-10” foliage ht, 14” flower ht
#1
$13.95
Heuchera Tiramisu; photo courtesy of Walters GardensHow could you not LOVE this yummy Heuchera with young foliage that is yellow with red centers, maturing to chartreuse with a silver overlay! White flowers.
Heucherella ‘Alabama Sunrise’ Foliage 12” ht, flower 20” ht #1 $13.95
Heucherella Alabama Sunrise; photo courtesy of Walters GardensThis villosa hybrid has very large, deeply cut brilliant gold foliage with red veining; may lighten as weather warms up. White flowers; more tolerant of heat and humidity. Looks great well into winter too!
Heucherella ‘Golden Zebra’ Foliage 10” ht, flowers 18” ht #1 $13.95
A glorious plant with SHOCKING yellow foliage with bright red splotches. OUTSTANDING with small bright Hostas like ‘Designer Genes’, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, ‘Maui Buttercups’, and/or ‘Ripple Effect’, or with Hakonechloa ‘All Gold’!
New!Heucherella ‘Solar Eclipse’ Foliage 10” ht, flowers 16” ht #1 $13.95
Heucherella Solar Eclipse (photo courtesy Terra Nova)Another real looker with scalloped deep red foliage with lime green edging….very moundy grower and excellent with limey chartreuse Hostas! White flowers too! (photo courtesy Terra Nova)
Heucherella ‘Stoplight’
Foliage 8”
#1
$13.95
Heucherella StoplightIndividual leaf size is up to three times larger than those of ‘Sunspot’, so you know this one is another Contrary fave! Screaming yellow, red centered spring leaves will stop you in your tracks…summer foliage is slightly more muted (but still amazing); also produces white flowers in spring.
Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’ 18” foliage ht.

#1

$13.95

Heucherella Sweet Tea (photo courtesy Growing Colors)This VERY LIMITED new Heucherella has HUGE orange leaves with cinnamon centers and veins—very distinctive!
Top 10! Hypericum ‘Brigadoon
15” ht
#1
$12.95
Hypericum BrigadoonAnother one I forgot to include last year (and it sold out anyway!), this St. John’s Wort has bright golden yellow foliage with reddish edges and 2” golden flowers late spring to early summer. Best in part to bright shade away from drying winds…outstanding with Heucheras, Hostas and Carex! A Contrary Top 10 Honorable Mention!
Jeffersonia diphylla 12-18” ht 4½” pot $12.95
Jeffersonia diphyllaThis NATIVE Twinleaf (named after our great third Prez) has white flowers (similar to Bloodroot) from early to late spring and really AWESOME two-lobed foliage. Makes a great groundcover and won’t hang about here long!
Kirengeshoma palmata
36-40”
#1
$8.95
This yellow Wax Bells has a shrub-like habit and pale yellow nodding flowers that bloom late summer thru fall. The foliage has maple-shaped leaves and purple stems.
Liriope ‘Silver Dragon’ 10-15” ht Jumbo $7.95
This Lilyturf has grass-like green and white foliage that creeps slowly (not aggressive). Produces pale lavender flowers in late summer; protect from drying winds.
Lobelia siphilitica 36” ht

#1

$10.95

Lobelia siphilitica Blue (photo courtesy Bluebird Nursery)This NATIVE has stiffly erect dark green foliage and rich blue flowers in late summer. A great plant for the rain garden and adored by hummers and butterflies!
Lysmachia ‘Aurea’ (Moneywort)
2”
Jumbo
$5.95
Lysmachia Aurea; photo courtesy Bluebird NurseryGroundcover creeps and glows yellow.
Maianthemum canadense 3-6” ht 4½” pot $8.95
Maianthemum canadenseThis native False Lily-of-the-Valley has pretty little oval foliage and puffy white flowers from mid-spring to early summer. Makes an adorable groundcover for the shade!
Mukdenia ‘Karasuba’ 8-12” ht #1 $13.95
Mukdenia 'Karasuba'; photo courtesy Walters GardensThis rare foliage plant has fan shaped foliage that start deep green and develops deep red edges as it ages. In the fall, foliage turns a brilliant fire engine red. Also produces starry white flowers in spring. Needs bright to partial shade; VERY limited!
Phlox ‘Morris Berd’ 12-16” ht #1 $8.95
Phlox Morris BerdThis Phlox for the woodland has very fragrant rose-pink flowers in May and June; nice glossy dark green foliage forms a good groundcover too! Excellent mildew resistance and recommended by the Chicago Botanic Garden!
Pinellia pedatisecta 4-6” ht jumbo $7.95
Pinellia pedatisecta; photo courtesy Bluebird NurseryThis is a cousin to Jack-in-the Pulpits, and has arrow-shaped foliage and long, bizarre spadixes. A reseeder; guaranteed to draw your garden visitors and elicit comments!
Polemonium ‘Bressingham Purple’
15-18”
#1
$9.95
Polemonium Bressingham PurpleThis great Jacob’s Ladder has deep purple foliage (more intense in more light) and light blue flowers for a long time in late spring/early summer.
Top 10! Polemonium ‘Heaven Scent
18-24”
#1
$12.95
Polemonium 'Heaven Scent'; photo courtesy Walters GardensThis Jacob’s Ladder has ferny green foliage that has deep purple highlights in spring and fragrant blue flowers. Likes partial shade best; deer resistant! A Contrary Mary Top 10 Honorable Mention!
Top 10! Polemonium ‘Stairway to Heaven’
12-18”
#1
$13.95
Polemonium Stairway to HeavenA NEW variegated Jacob’s Ladder that is reputed to be MUCH hardier and MUCH more vigorous than ‘Brise d’Anjou’, it has white leaved margins that are also tinged with pink. VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES!! A Contrary Mary Top 10 pick!
Polygonatum humile
8”
#1
$8.95
Polygonatum humile; photo courtesy Bluebird NurseryA true fairy garden plant, this miniature Solomon’s Seal is DARLING! It slowly colonizes and is a natural companion to mini hostas…it awwww-inspiring!
Polygonatum odoratum
18-24”
#1
$8.95
This native Solomon’s Seal colonizes nicely in a woodland setting. It has soft, green leaves on tall, graceful stalks and long white flowers that dangle from underneath the leaves in early spring.
Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’
18-24”
#1
#2
$8.95
$15.95
Polygonatum odoratum; photo courtesy Walters GardensA great VARIEGATED Solomon’s Seal, it has elegant, arching green leaves with white edges and dangling white flowers. Foliage turns golden in the fall and is a real eye-catcher in the woodland garden. Reputed to be deer-resistant, and hummingbirds love it!
Pulmonaria ‘Bertram Anderson’ 8-10” ht #1 $10.95
Pulmonaria Bertram Anderson (photo courtesy Walters Gardens)Though not new, this Lungwort is FABULOUS for the shade, with very narrow spotty foliage and bright blue flowers starting late spring (later than other Lungworts). Deer and rabbit resistant too!
Pulmonaria ‘Majeste’
12”
#1
$10.95
Pulmonaria 'Majeste'; photo courtesy Walters GardensA fantastic Lungwort with narrow, silver-grey foliage that REALLY stands out in the shade.
Pulmonaria ‘Mrs. Moon’ 10-12” ht #1 $10.95
Pulmonaria Mrs. Moon (photo courtesy Baily Nursery)This Lungwort has darling green foliage with silvery/grey freckles; magenta pink buds open to blue blooms in spring! Hummers adore it; deer and rabbits don’t!
Pulmonaria ‘Raspberry Splash’ 12” ht

#1

$10.95

Pulmonaria Raspberry Splash (photo courtesy Walters Gardens)This beauty has narrow foliage that is dark green with silver spots and VERY showy raspberry pink flowers in late spring.
Rodgersia ‘Chocolate Wings’ 20” ht #1 $16.95
This is a stand-out foliage plant! Has deep bronzy-chocolaty colored leaves that look like Horse Chestnuts, and Astilbe-like white flowers in spring. Likes moist soil; VERY limited!
Salvia koyamae 30” ht #1 $8.95
This Sage has HUGE heart shaped deep green foliage and produces yellow flowers in September and October…quite a spectacle in the fall! Of course. Butterflies and hummers love it and deer don’t!
Sanguinaria canadensis
10”
#1
$8.95
Sanguinaria canadensis; photo courtesy Bluebird NurseryThis native Bloodroot is a member of the Poppy family and blooms from March to May in the woods. It has a solitary white flower with a golden-orange center and bluish-green, palmately scalloped, unique leaves. A must for a native shade garden!
Stylophorum diphyllum 18” ht #1 $8.95
Stylophorum diphyllum; photo courtesy Bluebird NurseryThis NATIVE Celandine or Wood Poppy has large, lobed, Oak-like foliage and produces showy, poppy-like, clear yellow flowers primarily in spring, followed by light green spiny fruits. Will re-bloom in fall if given adequate moisture and will also colonize. If too dry it will go summer-dormant. Nice plant!
Syneilesis aconitifolia 18” ht various various
Syneilesis aconitifolia (Shredded Umbrella)This Shredded Umbrella has got to be seen to be believed! It comes up with very wooly textured, May-Apple like foliage that is “shredded”, slowly unfolding itself like an umbrella! The flower stalks rise about a foot above the foliage and produces very small, pinkish white flowers. It looks tropical, and is DEFINITELY grown for its foliage and BAZINGA appeal! It very slowly produces a small colony….come see ours in the display bed! VERY limited and DEFINITELY a Collector’s Plant!
All right, I promise this is the last time I say this (at least about perennials!), but foam flowers are among the best plants I know!! They have outstanding foliage and are a must in every garden.
Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’
10”
#1
$10.95
Tiarella Spring Symphony; photo courtesy Terra Nova NurseryI can’t believe this plant - it has compact, “painted” leaves and outstanding pink flowers that rebloom - DOES IT EVER! in my own garden it bloomed May-June, THEN ON & OFF AGAIN ’TIL LATE FALL!
Tiarella ‘Sugar & Spice’
8” foliage ht, 13” flower ht
#1
$10.95
Tiarella Sugar and Spice; photo courtesy Terra Nova NurseryThis foam flower is a clump former and has glossy, deeply dissected foliage with prominent dark centers and fragrant pink and white flowers from early spring to early summer. Deer resistant!
Tradescantia ‘Sweet Kate’
12-14”
#1
$8.95
Tradescantia Sweet KateThis Spiderwort prefers partial shade and has linear, grass-like chartreuse foliage and blue flowers almost all summer. Can tolerate soggy soil.
Tricyrtis Imperial BannerThese next plants are toad lilies (great name, huh?!) They grow in deep shade and have flowers that look like orchids!!! Great for fall bloomers; however, they won’t eat your slugs like other toads will.
Top 10! Tricyrtis ‘Gilt Edge’
24”
#1
$10.95
Tricyrtis Gilt EdgeAnother great Toad, this one has creamy-yellow edged leaves that give it great interest even when not in bloom. In the fall, the magnificent white, heavily spotted flowers appear. WOW! A Contrary Mary Top 10 pick!
Tricyrtis ‘Shirohotogisu’ 24” ht #1 $10.95
This Toad has medium green spotted foliage and clear white flowers along each stem in fall. A Contrary Mary fave!
Tricyrtis Hirta ‘Variegata’
18”
#1
$10.95
Tricyrtis Hirta 'Variegata'; photo courtesy Bluebird NurseryThis toad lily has bright green leaves edged with a thin white line and pinkish flowers with dark spots in the fall.

Trillium luteum

16” ht various various
This NATIVE Wake Robin has adorable spotty foliage and soft yellow spring flowers….perfect companions for Hostas and other shade lovers!
Trillium erectum 14” ht various various
Another Native woodland plant, this one has red blooms above solid green foliage. All Trilliums are deer resistant too (yeah!)
Trillium grandiflorum ‘Snowy White’ 14” ht various various
This cultivar from our Native Trillium has larger, ruffled white flowers and deep green foliage; flowers get a slight tinge of pink as they age.
Viola ‘Black Magic’ 6-8” ht Jumbo $7.95
Viola 'Black Magic'; photo courtesy Walters GardensThis produces a TRUE black flower with a bright yellow eye in spring, re-blooming again in fall if deadheaded. A clump former that is NOT invasive!
Viola ‘Etain’ 6-8” ht Jumbo $7.95
Viola 'Etain'; photo courtesy Walters GardensAnother little charmer with LARGE (2”) lemon yellow flowers that have lavender purple and orange eyes and are sweetly fragrant. Will bloom all summer!
Zingiber ‘Dancing Crane’ 30” ht various various
The “mama” of these was given to me by my wonderful friend and customer Lynn who is ALWAYS thinking of cool plants to share. I really didn’t believe her when she said it was hardy (even though she hails from Michigan!), so when, after the first winter, nothing showed up in April or May I thought AHA! Well, Contrary Mary was WRONG (mark that down!) When I say this one’s LATE waking up, I’m not joshing! Don’t expect this one to show up at the party until very late May to mid June, but when she does arrive, all heads will be turned towards her! The foliage almost reminds you of Canna foliage, except that is boasts a zig-zag white lightning bolt thru the very deep green leaves. VERRRRRY slowly it colonizes; I can’t begin to tell you how many comments I get on the one in my display bed! In late summer, pretty orchid-like yellow flowers peek out at ground level. The common name for this plant is Japanese Woodland Ginger, and the flowers and new shoots are edible! VERY limited, and a Contrary fave!!!
 

 

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Contrary Mary’s Plants and Designs
2735 Route 52
Minooka, IL 60447

(815) 521-9535
contrarymary@contrarymarysplants.com