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Browse Plants

Narrowed By:Zone: 5, 8+ Foliage: Colorful
Displaying 1 - 20 of 153 listings   1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8View AllNext > Sort By: Sort
Abeliophyllum distichum Abeliophyllum distichum
(White forsythia)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This deciduous shrub is related to the forsythia, but differs in that it has white (rather than yellow) flowers that open in early spring before true forsythia. It is a member of the olive family (Oleaceae). In early spring, before the new leaves form, purplish buds all along the grey naked branches open into small white four-petaled, almond-scented flowers with yellow stamens. After flowering, green, glossy abelia-like leaves appear.

Acaena inermis 'Purpurea' Acaena inermis 'Purpurea'
(Purple sheep's burr, Purple goose leaf)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This New Zealand native subshrub has 3-inch-wide scalloped leaves and little purple-brown to pale olive leaflets. Its rhizomatous roots spread in a mat to support this plant's wonderful ground-cover form. In early summer, 3/4-inch-wide flowers appear on short stems, and brownish green sepals and white anthers contrast with the dark leaves. The rhizomatous roots of this plant spread slowly into a mat, forming a nice ground cover. Prune every five years or so for a neat appearance; little other care is required. -Gerald Gibbens, Regional Picks: Northwest, Fine Gardening issue #120

Acer palmatum 'Wolff' Acer palmatum 'Wolff'
(Emperor I® Japanese maple)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

I’ll never forget when, in the mid-1990s, I called up a renowned nurseryman in Pennsylvania with questions about a holly, and he shifted the conversation to a new Japanese maple he had bred. “Emperor I®—better than ‘Bloodgood’,” he said. But we have all heard comments like that before. Plant breeders tend to borrow glory from classic plants by claiming their new version is better, but my skepticism about Emperor I® was quashed a year later when I acquired my first small tree. It’s a fast grower—unlike ‘Bloodgood’, which can take years to become a sizable tree. Also, unlike ‘Bloodgood’, Emperor I® holds its spectacular burgundy color all summer in full sun, and when fall rolls in, it evolves to a brilliant fiery red.

Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum'
(Golden Full Moon Maple)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

If your shade garden needs a focal point, consider this small, rounded Japanese maple, with its lime-to-chartreuse-tinged golden leaves. In fall, its leaves turn orange and red, just like those of a sugar maple. This variety, like other small Japanese maples, needs shade and protection from sun and drying winds to keep the foliage from curling and turning brown at the edges. -Michael Ruggiero, Regional Picks: Mid-Atlantic, Fine Gardening issue #127

Actaea simplex 'Brunette' Actaea simplex 'Brunette'
(Baneberry, Snakeroot)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This chocolate-leaved cultivar up to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide bears compact spikes of white flowers in late summer. This plant may languish in very warm temperatures. The flowers remain ornamental for three to four weeks.

Actaea simplex ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ Actaea simplex ‘Hillside Black Beauty’
(Bugbane, Autumn snakeroot, black cohosh)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Unlike other bugbanes, 'Hillside Black Beauty' offers deep purple-black foliage. From late spring to late summer, its dark hue makes a wonderful backdrop for colorful foliage and flowering shade plants. In fall, fragrant, cream-colored flowers appear on tall, wandlike stems. An added plus: this plant is deer resistant. --Michael Ruggiero, Regional Picks: Mid-Atlantic, Fine Gardening issue #127

Andropogon gerardii 'Pawnee' Andropogon gerardii 'Pawnee'
(Big bluestem, turkeyfoot)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Pawnee' has an upright habit and warm fall colors that persist into winter. This refined offbig bluestem has the bluish purple stems typical of the genus. In late summer, Purplish red flowers appear in groups of three or six, which look like a turkey foot—hence the nickname: "Turkey Foot Grass." The root system that can extend down more than 10 feet. Each year, a third of these roots die, opening up channels for water. -Scott Vogt, Native grasses, Fine Gardening issue #124

Antennaria neodioica Antennaria neodioica
(Northern pussy toes, Cat feet, Everlasting, Ladies' tobacco)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This deciduous, mat-forming perennial produces everlasting flowers. It is a native prairie plant that has stem and leaf bottoms covered with white hairs and whitish flower heads that form in dense clusters. Male and female flowers are produced on separate plants.

Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing' Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'
(Ravenswing)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is the bronze-purple form of the common Queen Anne's lace. It produces beautiful, highly fringed, lacy foliage in a dusky purple.

Astilbe chinensis var. pumila Astilbe chinensis var. pumila
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is a dwarf astilbe with attractive red-green leaves and reddish pink flowers in broad, dense conical groups. Its blooms appear mostly in summer.

Athyrium 'Ghost' Athyrium 'Ghost'
(Ghost fern)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Here's a fern with an upright habit and silvery fronds that give it a ghostly look, hence the name. Emerging new fronds have a shimmering whitish color that darkens slowly to a silvery green with burgundy accents. 'Ghost' spreads slowly by shallow rhizomes, eventuallly becoming an excellent ground cover. -Matt Griswold, Regional Picks: Northeast, Fine Gardening issue #127

Athyrium niponicum var. 'Pictum' Athyrium niponicum var. 'Pictum'
(Japanese painted fern)
(3 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This fern has cool, grey-green, almost silvery, foliage and reddish-purple stalks that are useful for brightening dark spots in borders. It is deciduous, and although it reaches only 8 to 12 inches in height, it is easy to grow, prolific, and easily divided.

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum 'Burgundy Lace' Athyrium niponicum var. pictum 'Burgundy Lace'
('Burgundy Lace' Japanese painted fern)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Burgundy Lace' is a real showstopper in shady borders and containers, with its silvery purple-bronze fronds. The low-growing clumps are a good choice for edging pathways, and the plant looks terrific when planted in groups. 'Burgundy Lace' grows best in humus-rich, moist soil but will also adapt to conditions that are less than ideal. -Chris Kelley, Regional Picks: Midwest, Fine Gardening issue #120

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum 'Ursula's Red' Athyrium niponicum var. pictum 'Ursula's Red'
('Ursula's Red' Japanese painted fern)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The broad silvery leaves of ‘Ursula’s Red’ have a showy burgundy band at the center of the leaves in spring. This plant can double in size in a single growing season, as it spreads from rhizomes. Though deer do like it, it may simply grow more fronds and not show any lasting damage. --Michael Ruggiero, Regional Picks: Mid-Atlantic, Fine Gardening issue #127

Berberis thunbergii Berberis thunbergii
(Japanese barberry)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Grown for its neat habit, yellow flowers, and red fruit, this shrub spreads prolifically by seed and is considered invasive in some areas, including the Northeast. Alternatives include bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) and winterberry (Ilex verticillata). The many cultivars include 'Atropurpurea Nana' (red-purple foliage); 'Aurea' (bright yellow young foliage); 'Pink Queen' (variegated); and 'Silver Beauty' (leaves mottled creamy white).

Berberis thunbergii 'Golden Nugget' Berberis thunbergii 'Golden Nugget'
(Dwarf Japanese barberry)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Golden Nugget' is a deciduous shrub with non-burning foliage. It is a slow grower (to only about 1 foot tall) and makes a good border plant, especially when planted with darker foliage plants or brightly colored flowers, or a groundcover. Grow in full sun for best color and berry production. It tolerates poor soils as long as drainage is good.The foliage has an orange cast for most of the season, which intensifies in the autumn.

Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea
(Red Japanese barberry)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Red Japanese barberry is a deciduous shrub with multi-season interest. Most striking are the deep reddish purple inch-long leaves. In spring, scented yellow flowers appear on arching stems. This barberry is an excellent hedge pland, and it also looks good in the middle to rear of beds and borders. Watch out for the brittle, three-pronged thorns. -Gerald Gibbens, Regional Picks: Northwest, Fine Gardening issue#120

Bergenia cillata Bergenia cillata
(Hairy bergenia)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is the most drought-tolerant bergenia I’ve found and the only one that does well in Texas heat. The large, hairy, critter-resistant leaves do not resemble other members of this genus; they look more like hairy plates or giant African violet leaves—hence, it’s common name. Mature plants will send up 10-inch-long stems of white to pale pink flowers from spring to early summer, but the real reason to grow this plant is its remarkable foliage.
In cooler regions, hairy bergenia grows not only in the shade but also in full sun. It isn’t particular about soil type or pH. Divide plants every three to five years to keep them vigorous. -Jimmy Turner, Perennials for dry shade, Fine Gardening issue #133

Bignonia capreolata 'Tangerine Beauty' Bignonia capreolata 'Tangerine Beauty'
('Tangerine Beauty' cross vine)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A better-behaved cousin to the less-than-polite trumpet vine, cross vine is a colorful solution for a fence or arbor with afternoon shade. Although this east Texas native is slow to establish, ‘Tangerine Beauty’ sports brighter, showier flowers than other cultivars and will reward your patience with loads of orange blooms in both spring and fall. Flowers bloom on old wood, so prune this vine immediately only after blooms fade. -Leslie Finical Halleck, Fine Gardening #147 (October 2012), page 74

Brassica oleracea Brassica oleracea
(Ornamental cabbage, Ornamental kale)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Rosettes of cabbage foliage are grown as annuals for fall and winter interest. Color intensifies in cooler temperatures (below 50°F). Good for bedding and containers.


Displaying 1 - 20 of 153 listings   1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8View AllNext > Sort By: Sort