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Browse Plants

Narrowed By:Foliage: Colorful
Displaying 1 - 213 of 213 listings   1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11View All 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

no image available Acalypha wilkesiana
(Copperleaf, Jacob's coat)
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This spreading shrub is grown for its multi-colored, toothed, oval leaves. Use it as a houseplant or as an annual or container plant outdoors where it is not hardy. Flowers are small, green or pinkish, and generally not noteworthy. 

Acalypha wilkesiana ‘Tricolor’ Acalypha wilkesiana ‘Tricolor’
(Copperleaf, Firedragon, Jacob's coat, Match-me-if-you-can)
(1 user review)

This spreading shrub from tropical and subtropical regions can reach 6 feet tall. It is grown as a houseplant or as an annual outdoors where it's not hardy. Its oval leaves are splashed with red, green, and yellow and its long, fuzzy flowers are borne periodically throughout the year, although they are somewhat hidden. Acalypha wilkesiana 'Tricolor' can be grown in a warm greenhouse, in a border, or as a specimen or hedging plant (especially in warm areas).

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

Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop' Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop'
(Black rose)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The "flowers" of black rose. are actually rosettes of burgundy-black leaves at the ends of stalklike stems. In winter, bright yellow flowers contrast with the dark foliage. 'Zwartkop' is a wonderful backdrop plant that can show off many companion plants to maximum advantage. -Jeff Moore, Regional Picks: Southwest, Fine Gardening issue #120

Aloe cameronii Aloe cameronii
(Red aloe)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Aloe is best known as a medicinal plant (Aloe vera, Zones 10-11), but there are many beautiful aloes as well. Most have amazing winter flowers, and some, have interesting foliage color. Red aloe  has color that varies from green to a deep, red wine hue, depending on sun and water. and, over time, will form beautiful red-purple mounds with orange flowers. It is easily propagated from cuttings. -Jeff Moore, Regional Picks: Southwest, Fine Gardening issue #120

Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight' Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight'
(Calico plant, Joy weed)
(1 user review)

This dark-leaved, tropical foliage plant loves heat, and is useful spreading through a bed, border, or in a container where its deep purple leaves can contrast with brightly colored flowers or foliage. Alternanthera are native to tropical and sub-tropical areas of Central and South America. Their flowers are generally an afterthought. This plant works well for edging, as an annual groundcover, or in a formal knot garden.

Alternanthera ficoidea 'Red Threads' Alternanthera ficoidea 'Red Threads'
(Joseph's coat, Parrot leaf)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A. ficoidea ‘Red Threads’ is a slender-leaved perennial selection that doesn't wander, forming a textured carpet in shades of deep burgundy. A single plant makes a mound about 8 inches tall and 14 inches wide. It blooms on and off all year, but you may never notice. The small, pale flower buttons are held in the leaf axils, where they are nearly indistinguishable from the foliage unless you're paying close attention. Use 'Red Threads' at the base of taller plants in the border to provide vibrant color echoes or contrasts. Grow as a warm-season annual in cooler climates, mass the plants in beds, or use in a formal knot garden as the Victorians did.

Alternanthera ficoidea 'Yellow Form' Alternanthera ficoidea 'Yellow Form'
(Joseph's coat, Parrot leaf)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Yellow Form' Alternanthera is an easy-to-grow, tropical plant with a fast-spreading habit and pointed, chartreuse-yellow leaves. It forms a mat of color from spring's frost-free date to fall's first frost. Like others of this genus, it makes a great edging, bedding, or container plant. In formal landscapes, it can be used in a knot garden. It looks great with dark-leaved plants.

Amaranthus tricolor and cvs. Amaranthus tricolor and cvs.
(Chinese spinach, Tampala, Joseph's coat)
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This hardy annual has vibrant, ornamental red, yellow, and green foliage that lends a tropical effect to the garden. Small flowers, borne from summer to early autumn, are inconspicuous in comparison to the effect of the foliage. Cultivars feature yellow and maroon-shaded leaves, but the species still offers the showiest foliage.

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

Begonia 'Cowardly Lion' Begonia 'Cowardly Lion'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Unlike many other shade garden plants with their cool blue colors, 'Cowardly Lion' rex begonia offers rich warm tones. Chocolate-colored leaf veins veil the golden leaves, which become darker with age and make a fine counterpoint to yellow-based foliage plants. -Rita Randolph, Rex begonias, Fine Gardening issue #120

Begonia 'Escargot' Begonia 'Escargot'
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Escargot' takes its name from the snail-like curl pattern at the base of the leaf. The foliage is striking enough to stand on its own but it's a good mixer, too. Use it with other foliage plants and brightly colored blooms. This is an extremely popular Rex hybrid begonia. -Rita Randolph, Rex begonias, Fine Gardening issue #120

Begonia 'Fireworks' Begonia 'Fireworks'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Like other Rex begonias, 'Fireworks' is noteworthy for the coloration of its foliage. Its silvery leaves are edged in purple and have a black burst of fireworks in the center. Use it in a container or shady garden, or grow it as a houseplant. -Rita Randolph, Rex begonias, Fine Gardening issue #120

Begonia 'Marmaduke' Begonia 'Marmaduke'
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Marmaduke' Rex begonia sports chocolate-colored speckles across golden leaves. The earth tones of 'Marmaduke' go well with solid-colored foliage plants and yellow or rusty-hued blooms. -Rita Randolph, Rex begonias, Fine Gardening issue #120

Begonia 'Stained Glass' Begonia 'Stained Glass'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Stained Glass' is simply stunning. Ruby red leaves are rimmed in pewter with dark veining at the center and a rosy underside. This Rex begonia goes well with pink plants or flowers. -Rita Randolph, Rex begonias, Fine Gardening issue #120

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

Beta vulgaris 'Bull's Blood' Beta vulgaris 'Bull's Blood'
(Beet)
(1 user review)

This heirloom beet from 1840 is primarily grown for its tender, sweet, deep red-burgundy foliage, but the beets are tasty when harvested at the 2- to 3-inch size. The glossy leaves reach 18 inches high. Though it is edible, it is often grown as an ornamental, and its dark leaves contrast nicely with many garden plants.

Beta vulgaris 'Ruby Red' Beta vulgaris 'Ruby Red'
(Swiss chard)
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This is a sweet Swiss chard with beautiful candy-apple-red stalks and dark green, crinkly leaves with touches of red. Both the leaves and the stalks are very ornamental and 'Ruby Red' is great in a vegetable or cottage garden, or in an ornamental bed or border. It is especially attractive when grown with plants whose colors call attention to the red coloring. Although related to beets, the root is inedible, but the leafy greens are valued for their mild flavor and high nutritional value.

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.

Breynia disticha 'Roseo-picta' Breynia disticha 'Roseo-picta'
(Snow bush)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The white- and pink-mottled leaves of 'Roseo-picta' make it appear as if the plant has been snowed upon, even though it is a tropical plant. It is an evergreen shrub growing to 3 feet or more with pink and red stems in zigzagged formation. Native to Pacific islands, it is grown as an indoor plant or perennial, or as an annual in cooler climates. The tiny flowers go generally unnoticed. Do not allow the soil to dry out, as leaf drop will occur.

Broussonetia papyrifera 'Golden Shadow' Broussonetia papyrifera 'Golden Shadow'
(Golden paper mulberry)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This golden-leaved version of the southern paper mulberry can be treated as a cutback shrub to control size and for best production of brilliant golden yellow, large, lobed leaves. Or it can be allowed to grow into a small- to medium-sized tree. It's a most desirable garden plant and looks fabulous with deep blue salvias.

Caladium bicolor 'Freida Hemple' Caladium bicolor 'Freida Hemple'
(Angel wings, Elephant's ears, Heart of Jesus, Mother-in-law plant)
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C. bicolor is a tuberous-rooted perennial of garden origin often grown in containers, as annuals, and as indoor plants. The large, heart-shaped leaves of 'Freida Hemple' caladium are edged in bright green and have bold red centers. Caladiums are excellent choices to add color, texture, and form to shady areas.

Caladium bicolor 'White Queen' Caladium bicolor 'White Queen'
(Angel wings, Elephant's ears, Heart of Jesus, Mother-in-law plant)
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A tuberous-rooted perennial most often grown as an annual or a houseplant, 'White Queen' has large frosted-looking white leaves that have green margins and bright red veins that "bleed". A great plant for full shade, it can also be grown in sun if provided with consistently moist soil. Greenish-white flower spathes appear in spring and are followed by white berries, but the foliage is the main show. Its arrow-shaped leaves light up a dark spot and work well as bedding or in containers. It can also be grown as a houseplant and tubers can be overwintered indoors.

Calluna vulgaris 'Spring Torch' Calluna vulgaris 'Spring Torch'
(Scotch heather, Ling)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Spring Torch' gets its name from the vibrant color of its new growth in spring. The mid-green leaves are tipped in shades of cream, orange, and red. Later in the summer, mauve-pink flower spikes cover the plant and last into the fall. As cold weather sets in, leaves acquire bronze or purple tones, adding further interest. This small, mounding evergreen shrub makes a good groundcover or rock garden plant. Bees love it. Different cultivars are beautiful woven together in the garden to form a colorful tapestry.

Canna 'Madame Paul Caseneuve' Canna 'Madame Paul Caseneuve'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A great canna to start with if you're convinced you hate them is 'Madame Paul Caseneuve', from 1902. The pearly-bronze leaves and almost purple stems of this 3- to 5-foot-tall antique beauty are the perfect foil for its elegant, sensual flowers of soft pink shading to peach and apricot.

Canna 'Sémaphore' Canna 'Sémaphore'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Growing to 6 or 7 feet, 'Sémaphore' features slender, dark-bronze leaves topped by spikes of narrow-petaled flowers of an unusual glowing color that's not quite yellow and not quite orange; perhaps flickering tongues of flame would be the best description. It is a Victorian classic from 1895.

Canna ‘Phasion’ Canna ‘Phasion’
(Tropicanna® canna)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This vigorous 5- to 6-foot plant sports fascinating foliage colors. Spring leaves emerge an intense purple and are soon striped with green, yellow, pink, and red. Vivid orange flowers appear in summer on this quick multiplier.

Carex buchananii Carex buchananii
(Leatherleaf sedge)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Two-foot-tall, stiff, orange-brown blades curve at the end like a shepherd’s staff. Burnished red-bronze foliage, which fades to flax at the tips, gives off a warm glow when backlit by the sun.

Carex elata 'Aurea' Carex elata 'Aurea'
(Bowles' golden sedge)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This beautiful sedge's vivid foliage adds bright color to the garden. The yellow seems to glow in partial shade. Use this dramatic clump of foliage near water or in shallow water, or in another moist location.

Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Worcester Gold' Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Worcester Gold'
(Blue beard, Blue-mist shrub)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Worcester Gold' is an attractive, mounding, woody shrub with warm yellow to chartreuse foliage and lavender-blue flowers in late summer and early autumn. The flowers are fragrant and attractive to bees and butterflies. The foliage is also aromatic. It is ideal for a mixed or shrub border.

Cercidiphyllum japonicum f. pendulum Cercidiphyllum japonicum f. pendulum
(Weeping katsura)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This deciduous small tree initially has a pyramidal form, and later rounded. Cercis-like, opposite, heart-shaped blue-green leaves are borne on stiff, slender, pendulous branches that fan out from the crown and sweep the ground. Caramel-scented foliage emerges bronze or purple-red, turns blue-green, then fades to gold or apricot in autumn. Tiny red flowers emerge in late March or early April before the leaves.

Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'
(Eastern redbud)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

In early spring, 'Forest Pansy' awakens with a long-lasting profusion of bright purplish-pink blooms borne in clusters, before the leaves, along smooth gray branches. Its heart-shaped, blood-red leaves are finely veined and glossy when young, slowly turning a dark, purple-tinged green in full sun. Autumn foliage is a bouquet of reds, purples, oranges, and yellows. The plant's graceful branching structure stands out in winter.

Cercis canadensis and cvs. Cercis canadensis and cvs.
(Eastern redbud)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Bright purplish-pink blooms are borne in clusters, before the leaves, along smooth gray branches. Heart-shaped leaves emerge bronze, turning green, then yellow in autumn. Cultivars are available with white ('Royal White') or pink flowers ('Tennessee Pink'), purple foliage ('Forest Pansy'), and weeping form ('Covey'). Grows 15 to 25 feet tall with a slightly wider spread.

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Aurea' Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Aurea'
(Hinoki cypress)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Hinoki cypress is a conical, evergreen, coniferous tree with leaves that are actually minute scales on tiny branches in the form of fans. The outer foliage of 'Aurea' is golden and the inner is green. Growth can be slow. Use as a specimen or use several as screening.

no image available Choisya ternata 'Sundance'
(Mexican orange blossom)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Sundance' Mexican orange blossom is an evergreen, compact shrub with white, fragrant flowers borne in late spring, and again in late summer and autumn. Groups of three little leaflets give the young yellow-green foliage a pleasing pattern, while the waxy, glossy texture adds a luminous quality.

Cissus discolor Cissus discolor
(Rex begonia vine)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Having the striking leaves of a Rex begonia and a vining growth habit, Cissus discolor is excellent in a container and can be trained onto a form. Its oval- to heart-shaped leaves are dark green with frosty silver patterns, while the undersides are red. The vine generally stays to 1 to 3 feet in containers. It may also be used on trellises or arbors.

Colocasia affinis var. jenningsii Colocasia affinis var. jenningsii
(Dwarf elephant's ear)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This little elephant ear has velvety dark leaves with prominent green veins and a large silvery central blotch. It reaches about 2 feet high.

Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris' Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris'
('Illustris' elephant's ear, Imperial taro)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The heart-shaped leaves of 'Illustris' are huge, and their dark highlights are stunning. This elephant ear is a lover of moist shade, but does best with a little dappled sunlight. It will tolerate boggy conditions. -Julia Jones, Fine Gardening issue #120

Cordyline hybrida var. JURred 'Festival™ Burgundy' Cordyline hybrida var. JURred 'Festival™ Burgundy'
(Festival™ Burgundy corydaline)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This basal branching cordyline combines the rugged easy-care attributes of its cordyline cousins with an unusual mix of shiny dark color, compact bushy form, short stems and cascading grass-like leaves.

Cordyline australis 'Purple Tower' Cordyline australis 'Purple Tower'
(Giant dracaena, New Zealand cabbage palm)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Purple Tower' is a cultivar of the New Zealand native cabbage tree, frequently grown in greenhouses, as houseplants, or as large accent plants outdoors. It is hardy to Zone 10. The narrow, plum-purple leaves reach 3 feet long. The fragrant white flowers are small, but they are borne in large panicles in spring and early summer on mature plants. Plants grown in containers only rarely flower, however. Young plants are often sold as houseplants. Mature specimens have thick trunks with foliage at the top, resembling a palm tree. They are striking container specimens and can be plugged into a summer border. The species has naturalized in portions of California and the southern U.S.

no image available Cornus alba
(Redtwig dogwood)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

These showy shrubs have two distinct phases of garden interest. In winter, they display boldly colorful bark—red, yellow, or orange—on twiggy stems to make a striking scene. In spring, the stems lose their vivid color and produce bright green, gold, or variegated foliage that accents the garden through the fall. Twig and leaf color vary according to the cultivar.

no image available Corydalis flexuosa
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

From late spring to summer, this species produces clusters of brilliant blue flowers over ferny foliage. It is the parent of many of the rapidly expanding selection of choice blue cultivars.

Corydalis flexuosa 'Purple Leaf' Corydalis flexuosa 'Purple Leaf'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This choice corydalis produces fragrant clusters of periwinkle-blue flowers and ferny foliage infused with purple hues. It is similar to 'Blue Panda,' yet is slower to spread and blooms more reliably during the summer.

Cotinus 'Grace' Cotinus 'Grace'
('Grace' smoke tree)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This cross of the European smoke bush (C. coggygria) and the American smoke tree (C. obovatus) is a gem in the garden thanks to its multiseason interest. Its iridescent spring foliage is green overlaid with red; then its large pink clouds of blooms in summer are followed by brilliant autumn foliage that ranges from red to orange. 'Grace' combines well with just about anything; asters, ornamental grasses, and Japanese maples are good places to start.

Cotinus coggygria 'Ancot' Cotinus coggygria 'Ancot'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This specimen is grown for its stunning golden leaves, which turn to brilliant shades of orange and red in autumn. It may or may not produce the smoke-like plumes typical of the genus. 

Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’
(Smoke tree, Venetian sumac)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This shrub or small tree has stunning dark red-purple foliage that turns scarlet in autumn. It has plume-like seed clusters, which appear after the flowers and give a long-lasting, smoky haze to branch tips.

Cotinus coggygria ‘Velvet Cloak' Cotinus coggygria ‘Velvet Cloak'
(Smoke tree, Venetian sumac)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This shrub or small tree has stunning deep purple foliage that turns orange-red in autumn. It has plume-like seed heads, which appear after the flowers and give a long-lasting, smoky haze to branch tips.

Crinum 'Sangria' Crinum 'Sangria'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This purple-leaved hybrid has Crinum bulbispermum in its blood, so it is more cold hardy than many other purple-leaved crinums. In spring, 'Sangria' sends up 2-foot-long leaves (it will stay evergreen in frost-free climates). 'Sangria' crinum serves as a superb substitute for phormiums, though it is somewhat less upright. It is grown for its foliage alone or for its pink flowers, which appear in the spring. -Andy Cabe, Regional Picks: Southeast, Fine Gardening issue #120

Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff'
(Dahlia)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

With its deep purple-black leaves and brilliant summer blooms, 'Bishop of Llandaff' is a fine addition to the sunny bed or border. The 4- to 6-inch-round red-petaled flowers have deep purple and yellow centers, which are set off nicely by the plant's dark foliage. Use this long-stemmed cultivar in cut-flower arrangements. -Gerald Gibbens, Regional Picks: Northwest, Fine Gardening issue#120

Dianthus 'Bath's Pink' Dianthus 'Bath's Pink'
(Cheddar pink)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Dianthus 'Bath's Pink' is a stunning, wide-spreading ground cover with grassy, blue-green foliage and pink flowers. Use it to edge a bed or grow it in your rock garden for a splash of cool color. To keep its blooms going, be sure to deadhead.

Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart' Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart'
(Bleeding heart, Lyre flower)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Golden yellow foliage emerges from the ground in early spring and is soon accompanied by rosy-pink broken hearts that open in succession for nearly a month as the stems elongate.

Dyckia fosteriana 'Cherry Cola' Dyckia fosteriana 'Cherry Cola'
('Cherry Cola' dyckia)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Cherry Cola' , a relatively new cultivar, features deep, dark burgundy foliage and small but sharp teeth (handle with care!). In summer, orange blossoms appear, and hummingbirds love them. Like other Dyckias, this plant tolerates extreme heat and is perfect for hot, dry locations. -Jeff Moore, Regional Picks: Southwest, Fine Gardening issue #120

Elymus arenarius Elymus arenarius
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This plant has densely tufted, spreading clumps of strap-like, flowing foliage. Pale blue-gray leaves arch loosely. In summer, it produces stiff, upright, blue-gray spikes of flowers that turn buff.

Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii'
(Red banana, Abyssinian banana, Ethiopian banana)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This banana-like perennial has large paddle-shaped leaves, which range in color from deep claret brown to red-purple to pale green, produced from the center of the plant, with thick midribs bright red beneath. White flowers are borne in inflorescences 3 to 4 feet long. Fruits are banana-like but dry and unpalatable.

Epimedium × rubrum Epimedium × rubrum
(Red epimedium, red barrenwort, bishop's hat)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Early in the season, the thin, heart-shaped leaves of this plant have a red tinge, which turns to bronze in fall. Plant red epimedium along a path, where its delicate foliage and tiny spring flowers can be admired. -Marty Hair, Regional Picks: Upper Midwest, Fine Gardening issue #127

Epimedium grandiflorum cvs. Epimedium grandiflorum cvs.
(Longspur barrenwort, Bishop's hat)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Longspur barrenwort is a clump-forming, deciduous, rhizomatous perennial. Leaves, light green and flushed bronze when young, are heart-shaped with spiny margins. Four-petaled white, yellow, pink, or purple flowers, hanging in clusters, appear in mid- and late spring.

Epimedium stellulatum 'Wudang Star' Epimedium stellulatum 'Wudang Star'
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Wudang Star' is a clump-forming, evergreen perennial with spiny, glossy foliage. New leaves emerge with bronzy pink edges before turning green in summer. Loose spikes of star-shaped white flowers, borne in spring, have prominent yellow stamens.

Eragrostis chloromelas Eragrostis chloromelas
(Boer love grass)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

From late spring until fall, Boer love grass puts on a glorious display as inflorescences that emerge silver and dry to gold dance up to 2 feet above the fine-textured clump of foliage. The show is shorter in humid climates.

Eucomis comosa 'Oakhurst' Eucomis comosa 'Oakhurst'
(Pineapple lily, Pineapple flower)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This bulbous perennial has striking reddish purple, strap-like leaves and foot-long purple flowers that resemble pineapples in late summer. Grow in a sunny border, container, or greenhouse. Plants used outdoors may be overwintered in a frost-free location. The species is native to South Africa.

Eucomis comosa 'Sparkling Burgundy' Eucomis comosa 'Sparkling Burgundy'
(Pineapple lily, Pineapple flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This outstanding cultivar boasts dark burgundy leaves that slowly change to olive green, and then revert back dramatically as the flowers fade. The flowers form on 20- to 30-inch stalks bearing bottle-brush-like wands of tight, smokey pink florets, which are crowned by tufts of purple bracts. As the common name implies, these unusual and magnificent inflorescences are reminiscent of pineapples.

Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate' Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate'
(White snakeroot)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The deliciously colored maroon-brown leaves contrast nicely with neighboring plants through the season. Pure white flowerheads bloom in midsummer and stay open well into autumn.

no image available Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Rubra’
(Wood spurge)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This cultivar has a compact, bushy habit to 20 inches tall and purple-red flushed leaves, especially on new growth and in winter. It produces yellow bracts in mid-spring and early summer.

Euphorbia cotinifolia Euphorbia cotinifolia
(Tropical smoke bush, Caribbean copper plant)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

With its woody stems and oval-shaped leaves, this perennial looks a lot like a tree. Like other members of the euphorbia family, it has milky sap and tiny flowers. Most of the appeal comes from the leaf color. dark burgundy on older leaves, a brighter red on new foliage. The foliage generally dies back in winter. -Jeff Moore, Regional Picks: Southwest, Fine Gardening issue #120

Euphorbia dulcis 'Chameleon' Euphorbia dulcis 'Chameleon'
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This notable species produces erect stems of bronzy burgundy leaves and purple-green bracts in early summer. It looks exceptional when placed near contrasting plants. The foliage may be cut back after flowering to produce fresh growth.

Fagus sylvatica 'Purple Fountain' Fagus sylvatica 'Purple Fountain'
(Purple fountain beech, European beech)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Purple Fountain' is a deciduous, columnar, dark-leaved tree with bronze-purple, wavy margined leaves and cascading branches. Leaves become more green as summer wears on. It can be used as a specimen tree or for pleaching. It is similar to the purple weeping beech but is much more columnar. Fall color is yellow, then orange-brown.

Festuca glauca 'Boulder Blue' Festuca glauca 'Boulder Blue'
(Blue fescue, Gray fescue)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Regarded by some as the bluest blue fescue, this plant forms compact, cascading mounds of foot-tall, intensely blue, narrow leaves that are attractive in all seasons. Blooms are generally secondary to the foliage, but this cultivar blooms more heavily than most, with spikelets in summer. This cultivar is long-lived and very hardy. Grow in groups in a border or rock garden, or as a groundcover. 

Fuchsia 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt' Fuchsia 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt'
(Fuchsia)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This cultivar boasts single, long-tubed, brick red flowers and dark bronze-red leaves and stems.

no image available Geranium maculatum 'Elizabeth Ann'
(Spotted geranium)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This gorgeous cultivar of the North American species has rich, chocolate brown foliage and contrasting lavender blooms. 

Geranium pratense 'Dark Reiter' Geranium pratense 'Dark Reiter'
('Dark Reiter' geranium)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Dark Reiter', a fairly new cultivar, has a short mounded habit and dissected dark leaves. Bright lilac-blue blossoms appear in spring, and trimming the plant back after flowering encourages more blooms in fall and helps maintain its neat habit. 'Dark Reiter' is slow growing, making it perfect for a rock garden. Like many other geraniums, it does not appeal to deer. Pair silver-toned foliage plants with 'Dark Reiter' for a stunning effect. -Teresa Smith, Regional Picks: Northeast, Fine Gardening issue #120

Geranium pratense 'Midnight Reiter' Geranium pratense 'Midnight Reiter'
(Meadow cranesbill)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Deeply cut plum-purple leaves emerge in spring and stay true to color throughout the season. Lavender-blue flowers bloom beginning in late spring. 'Midnight Reiter' grows to only about 6 or 8 inches tall and twice as wide. More shade causes the foliage to be greener.

Hakonechloa macra ‘Nicholas’ Hakonechloa macra ‘Nicholas’
(‘Nicolas’ Japanese forest grass)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Some gardeners love Japanese forest grass because it looks like a baby bamboo grove or a lush woodland carpet. I love it because of the graceful motion that it adds to the garden—even on windless days. Such evocative beauty coupled with overall garden vigor (notably disease and deer resistance) are what make it a popular garden choice. In response to demand for greater variety, plant breeders have been working hard at increasing the palette of available cultivars. Of these newer selections, ‘Nicolas’, a dwarf variety that boasts lustrous green leaf blades with burgundy staining, is a notable standout.

 The pigment variegation of this plant pre­sents early in the season and intensifies to a vibrant reddish orange for a gorgeous late-season show. The long blades also add a nice texture to floral arrangements. Japanese forest grass is a versatile plant. It can stand alone as a ground cover or intermingle with other perennials, deciduous flowering shrubs, and spring bulbs. But because large varieties can sometimes swallow their perennial pairings and smother the lower foliage of shrubs, a dwarf cultivar, like ‘Nicolas’, offers a significant design benefit.

Heliotropium arborescens 'Marine' Heliotropium arborescens 'Marine'
(Heliotrope, Cherry pie)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Marine' heliotrope has a compact form with broadly oval to lance-shaped, wrinkled leaves tinged with purple. In summer, it bears a profusion of fragrant deep violet-blue flowerheads up to 6 inches across.

Helleborus x ballardiae 'HGC Pink Frost' Helleborus x ballardiae 'HGC Pink Frost'
('HGC Pink Frost' hellebore)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

‘HGC Pink Frost’ is part of a new series of hellebores that, for the Midwest, bloom very early, some as early as January; this cultivar blooms a bit later, usually in March. The bud count is high, with buds coming out in February all along the plant stem. They start out a deep burgundy but open to soft pink, then age to earthy rose shades. Flowers rise above the foliage, so they are never hidden, and they face outward, creating maximum interest. -Irvin Etienne, Fine Gardening issue 147, page 72

Heuchera 'Amethyst Myst' Heuchera 'Amethyst Myst'
('Amethyst Mist' heuchera)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This heuchera has burgundy leaves splashed with silver and grows up to 16 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Pink flowers emerge in spring and rise to 26 inches tall. This plant performs well in both garden beds and in containers, where it makes a wonderful filler plant.

Heuchera 'Blackberry Jam' Heuchera 'Blackberry Jam'
('Blackberry Jam' heuchera)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This heuchera, sold as Dolce® Blackcurrant in the U.S., has purple and silver leaves veined with black and grows up to 16 inches tall and 20 inches wide. While it flowers in early summer, it is grown primarily for its dramatic foliage and performs well in both garden beds and containers.

Heuchera 'Crimson Curls' Heuchera 'Crimson Curls'
('Crimson Curls' coral bells)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Crimson Curls' heuchera is fairly pest free, but it requires constant moisture to look its best. White flowers contrast with ruby-colored foliage that deepens in direct sun. 'Crimson Curls' flowers in late spring, and if deadheaded, will flower again by late summer. It needs too much water to grow well in containers. Instead, use it massed along a walkway or in a woodland bed. -Ron Smith, Regional Picks: Upper Plains, Fine Gardening issue #120

Heuchera 'Geisha's Fan' Heuchera 'Geisha's Fan'
('Geisha's Fan' heuchera)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This heuchera has dusky purple leaves with charcoal veins, overlaid with silver between the veins. The plant grows up to 16 inches tall and wide. Pale pink flowers appear in spring. Great in garden beds and in container plantings.

Heuchera 'Green Spice' Heuchera 'Green Spice'
(Coral bells)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This coral bells cultivar has silvery leaves with vivid purple veins and spires of white flowers in late spring and early summer. 'Green Spice' grows to less than a foot tall and a little wider; the wiry flowering stems rise two feet or so above the foliage. Leaves have an orangey hue in fall.

Heuchera 'Lime Rickey' Heuchera 'Lime Rickey'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Ruffled bright green leaves—first chartreuse and then lime green— and spires of white flowers distinguish this vigorous coral bells cultivar. It is eye-catching in a container, in a rock garden, as edging, or as groundcover.

Heuchera 'Marmalade' Heuchera 'Marmalade'
(Coral bells)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The maple-shaped leaves of this heuchera are pale orange with overtones honey, amber, and even pale green. Some are a single color, while others are a fusion. Reddish brown flowers appear in summer. The flower spikes can give cut-flower arrangements a contemporary look. -Sue Whetten, Regional Picks: Rocky Mountains, Fine Gardening issue #127

Heuchera 'Midnight Rose' Heuchera 'Midnight Rose'
('Midnight Rose' heuchera, 'Midnight Rose' coral bells)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Midnight Rose' is a striking heuchera with burgundy leaves heavily splashed with hot pink. The plant grows to 10 inches tall and 16 inches wide and produces small flowers in spring, though this plant is grown primarily for its foliage. Grow it in garden beds, as an edger, or in containers, where it will blend well with a multitude of other plants.

Heuchera 'Plum Pudding' Heuchera 'Plum Pudding'
(coral bells)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Plum Pudding' heuchera makes an excellent foliage plant for sunny to partly shady gardens. This cultivar has a mounded form. Its small white flowers, which bloom in early summer, are not as impressive as the foliage, but they do add a second level of interest. The foliage of 'Plum Pudding', with its silvery overtones, is not as dark as that of other burgundy heucheras. In mild winters, the foliage will persist if you provide adequate moisture to the soil. -Lou Anella, Regional Picks: Southern Plains, Fine Gardening issue #127

Heuchera 'Velvet Night' Heuchera 'Velvet Night'
(coral bells)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This heuchera cultivar has very dark (almost black) plum or purplish leaves and greenish white, bell-shaped flowers in late spring and early summer.

Heuchera ‘TNHEU042’ Heuchera ‘TNHEU042’
(Dolce® Key Lime Pie coral bells)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

In the past decade or so, dozens of new Heuchera cultivars have appeared sporting many combinations of foliage color. While all are delightful foliage plants, the lighter-colored varieties seem best adapted to shade. The most popular of these is Dolce® Key Lime Pie. With its bright gold–chartreuse leaves, this gem of a plant will light up a dark, shady area. -Tom Nelson, Regional Picks: Northern California, Fine Gardening issue #127

Heuchera Dolce® Licorice Heuchera Dolce® Licorice
(Dolce® Licorice heuchera)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This purple to almost black heuchera adds drama to the shade. The plant grows to 16 inches tall and wide with coralcolored blooms in spring. Grow it in garden beds or containers.

Heuchera micrantha var. diversifolia 'Palace Purple' Heuchera micrantha var. diversifolia 'Palace Purple'
(Coral flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Clump-forming perennial features a mound of maple, or ivy-like, long-petioled leaves (3-5" wide) which are an attractive deep purple above and beet red beneath. Foliage color may fade to a bronze green in hot summers. Tiny, pinkish white, bell-shaped flowers in open, airy panicles are borne on slender, wiry, dark red stems extending well above the mound of leaves typically to a height of 15-24" in late spring to early summer. Attracts hummingbirds to the garden! They look especially good used around the edge of a border. -Santa Rosa Gardens

Heuchera villosa 'Bronze Wave' Heuchera villosa 'Bronze Wave'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Bronze Wave', bred from the native Heuchera villosa,  is, like its parent, renowned for its vigor and resistance to heat and humidity. Its llustrous, large, coppery purple leaves hold their color throughout the growing season and beyond. Three-foot-tall wands of tiny, bell-shaped, pinkish white blooms appear in late summer. -Chris Kelley, Regional Picks: Midwest, Fine Gardening issue #120

Heuchera villosa 'Autumn Bride' Heuchera villosa 'Autumn Bride'
(Hairy alumroot, Maple leaf alumroot)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Large, fuzzy, gray-green leaves distinguish 'Autumn Bride' from other cultivars of Heuchera villosa. Attractive white flowers bloom in midsummer. This heuchera tolerates full sun but prefers partial shade, especially in the afternoon. -Jane Hutson, Regional Picks: Midwest, Fine Gardening issue# 127

Hibiscus 'Kopper King' Hibiscus 'Kopper King'
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A hardy hibiscus, 'Kopper King' has leaves that are a coppery red on top and orange-red underneath. Large (10 to 12 inches across) ruffly white to pale pink flowers bloom from midsummer to mid-fall if you deadhead. 'Kopper King' dies back to the ground in autumn and is late to break dormancy in the spring. It should be interplanted with spring bulbs and overplanted with winter annuals; that way you'll get color year round without disturbing the hibiscus. -Pat McKernan, Regional Picks: Lower Plains, Fine Gardening issue #120

Hosta 'Aspen Gold' Hosta 'Aspen Gold'
(Hosta)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Perfectly round, puckered, bright-gold leaves have a pattern resembling seersucker fabric. Pale-lavender flowers appear in early summer.

Hosta 'Blue Angel' Hosta 'Blue Angel'
(Hosta)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Blue Angel' makes a very large tiered mound of heavily textured blue leaves that can be as wide as 18 in. in diameter.

Hosta 'Fort Knox' Hosta 'Fort Knox'
(Hosta)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This upright selection reaches 24 inches tall and 44 to 48 inches wide. 'Fort Knox' has an elegant vase-shaped habit and radiant yellowish-gold leaves 10 inches long by 6 inches wide. Lavender flowers appear in midsummer.

Hosta 'Halcyon' Hosta 'Halcyon'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

‘Halycon’ is a wonderful blue hosta that holds its strong leaf color all season. Its textured, blue-green leaves are thick enough to be slug resistant. Bell-shaped, pale lilac flowers are followed by seed heads that attract birds late in the season. 'Halcyon' grows fairly slowly. It can be used as either a ground cover or a specimen plant. -Jane Hutson, Regional Picks: Midwest, Fine Gardening issue# 127

Hosta 'Piedmont Gold' Hosta 'Piedmont Gold'
(Hosta)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A robust, clump-forming perennial, 'Piedmont Gold' has prominently veined, wavy-margined, bright-gold leaves 10 inches long by 7 inches wide. It reaches an average height of 18 to 25 inches tall and 40 inches wide. White flowers on 26-inch stems appear in midsummer.

Hosta 'Sum and Substance' Hosta 'Sum and Substance'
(Hosta)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A botanical giant, 'Sum and Substance' averages 30 inches tall by 60 inches wide, sometimes more. Upright, heart-shaped, flat leaves have a glossy chartreuse hue that changes to gold when exposed to more light. Near-white lilac blooms borne on leaning scapes 36 inches long appear from late July through mid-August.

Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon'
(Chameleon plant)
(5 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Chameleon plant lives up to its name, with red and yellow variegated heart-shaped green leaves. Its scrambling growth habit may overwhelm its neighboring plants, so grow chameleon plant in a window box or a hanging basket, where its growth can more easily be controlled. -Debra Lee Baldwin, Regional Picks: Southern California, Fine Gardening issue #127

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’ Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’
(Oakleaf hydrangea)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This cultivar produces 8-inch-long, conical flower heads from early summer on. It is as notable for its distinct, deeply lobed leaves as for its reliably showy, creamy blooms. The foliage produces outstanding fall color and the flowers take on purplish-pink hues when dried.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’ Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’
(Oakleaf hydrangea)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This cultivar has large flowerheads of intricate double blossoms layered on top of one another. It is as notable for its distinct, deeply lobed leaves as for its reliably showy, creamy blooms. The foliage produces outstanding fall color, and the flowers take on purplish-pink hues as they dry. 

Hypericum calycinum 'Brigadoon' Hypericum calycinum 'Brigadoon'
(Aaron's beard, St. John's wort)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Brigadoon' is a new St. John's wort with brilliant chartreuse-yellow foliage that looks great next to dark-foliaged plants. It grows 12 to 16 inches tall and spreads quickly to about 2 feet wide, making it an excellent groundcover when planted in groups. In the sun, the small, oval leaves turn a dazzling orange-gold. The fuzzy, rather inconspicuous yellow flowers appear in midsummer. 'Brigadoon' tolerates heat, most any type of well-drained soil, and shade.

Imperata cylindrica and cvs. Imperata cylindrica and cvs.
(Japanese blood grass)
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This small ornamental grass is grown for its smooth, red-flushed leaves. Blooms are tan.

Ipomoea batatas 'Margarita' Ipomoea batatas 'Margarita'
('Margarita' sweet potato vine)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This sweet potato vine has lime green leaves that light up in the sunlight and look paler in part shade. 'Margarita' is a real eye-catcher growing over the edge of a wall or creeping along the fringes of a border. -Julia Jones, Designing with Annuals, Fine Gardening issue #120

Juniperus × pfitzeriana ‘Daub’s Frosted’ Juniperus × pfitzeriana ‘Daub’s Frosted’
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This evergreen shrub has a low, spreading habit and attractive, two-toned foliage. The pendulous foliage tips are frosted with gold on the upper surface and blue-green foliage on the underside. 'Daub's Frosted' reaches 15 inches tall by 5 feet wide at maturity. Dark purple fruit becomes paler later.

Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star' Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star'
(Singleseed juniper)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Blue Star' jumiper is a slow-growing, compact, evergreen shrub with a mounding shape. Its silver blue foliage is attractive in all seasons, and its blue, berry-like, female cones each contain one seed, hence its common name.

no image available Juniperus squamata ‘Holger’
(Singleseed juniper)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Holger' is a prostrate shrub with a semi-spreading form and narrow pointed leaves. Young growth emerges a soft sulfur-yellow, contrasting with steel-blue mature leaves. This plant bears glossy black fruit.

Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Maradco' Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Maradco'
('Maradco' beautybush)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Anyone who has grown beautybush knows that it puts on a spectacular pink flower display in late spring and then it goes incognito the rest of the year. This new beautybush, however, commonly known as Dream Catcher™, dazzles the eye with unforgettable, golden yellow foliage that turns to a striking golden orange in fall.

Lablab purpureus Lablab purpureus
(Egyptian bean, Hyacinth bean, Indian bean, Lablab)
(3 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This vigorous perennial climber bears clusters of plum-colored flower buds that open into fragrant, pinky-purple blossoms. They age to lilac and white, giving older flowers a two-toned effect. Blooms mature to glossy, burgundy bean pods that remain colorful for several weeks.

Lagerstroemia 'GAMAD I' Lagerstroemia 'GAMAD I'
(Cherry Dazzle® Dwarf Crapemyrtle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This compact shrub was bred by the noted horticulturist, Dr. Michael Dirr. It was selected not only for its small stature but also for its excellent disease resistance and standout flower color.

Lamium maculatum 'Anne Greenaway' Lamium maculatum 'Anne Greenaway'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Anne Greenaway' infuses the garden with excitement, with its bright chartreuse leaf margins. It grows up to 8 inches tall and 18 inches wide and is topped with lilac-mauve flowers in late spring. The stems root where they touch the soil, so it's easy to lift and transplant rooted stems to increase your stand. It makes a nice groundcover in a shady garden around ferns, hostas, heucheras, or geraniums.

Loropetalum chinense Loropetalum chinense
(Ever Red® Loropetalum)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Easy to grow and sun loving, Ever Red® Loropetalum offers beautiful dark burgundy foliage that retains its color through hot summer months. It also features the reddest tassel-like blooms ever seen on a loropetalum. 

Loropetalum chinense f. rubrum 'Carolina Midnight' Loropetalum chinense f. rubrum 'Carolina Midnight'
('Carolina Midnight' loropetalum)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

With some of the darkest foliage you'll encounter in the genus Loropetalum, 'Carolina Midnight' is a great new introduction that will add some purple punch to the garden. The flowers are like dark fuchsia fireworks in a sky of purple. It is a great substitue for purple smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria) in the South.

Loropetalum chinense f. rubrum 'Ruby' Loropetalum chinense f. rubrum 'Ruby'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This evergreen bushy shrub has fragrant, spider-like pink flowers borne in cymes in late winter or early spring. The oval leaves are burgundy colored.

Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker' Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker'
(Hairy loosestrife)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Hairy loosestrife has dark burgundy- to chocolate-colored foliage that spreads to form large clumps but is generally not invasive. In midsummer, clusters of small yellow star-shaped flowers contrast with the leaves. It grows to 4 feet high and 2 feet wide and is good in a moist border, at a pond margin, or in a wild garden.

Lysimachia congestiflora 'Persian Chocolate' Lysimachia congestiflora 'Persian Chocolate'
('Persian Chocolate' moneywort)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A mass of small purple leaves and abundant golden yellow, bell-shaped flowers distinguish this groundcover. It is useful on slopes as well as in containers.

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’
(Golden creeping Jenny, Moneywort)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Golden creeping Jenny is a  low-growing, rampant, evergreen groundcover with rounded, golden yellow leaves. In summer, it produces many cup-shaped, bright yellow flowers.

Nicotiana glauca Nicotiana glauca
(Tree tobacco)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Tree tobacco bears fleshy, almost succulent, saucer-sized leaves colored a lovely silvery blue. This tender perennial can be easily grown from seed as an annual and, in a single season, makes the incredible leap from a dust mote of seed to a skyscraping specimen 10 or more feet tall. Plants are a little rangy, but plenty of pinching helps keep tree tobacco at a size suited to a more modest perennial border. The plant bears yellow flowers if given a long enough growing season.

Nolina nelsonii Nolina nelsonii
(Blue beargrass tree)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This yucca-like Mexican plant has bold bluish leaves to 3 feet long that have tiny serrations on the edges. It makes a stunning accent in the garden or in a container. It is hardy to 10°F and extremely drought tolerant. Thousands of tiny white flowers bloom on a 4-foot stalk on mature clumps.

Ocimum basilicum Ocimum basilicum
(Basil, Sweet basil)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The herb of kings combines superbly with roses. Different cultivars vary in leaf shape, scent, and color, from green to deep purple, with blue, white, burgundy, or pink flowers.

Origanum laevigatum and cvs. Origanum laevigatum and cvs.
(Marjoram, Oregano)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This plant is a creeping perennial that reaches 24 inches tall. Dark green leaves have a rich purple tint, and its purplish pink flower clusters appear from late spring through autumn. ‘Herrenhausen’ (Zones 5–8) displays masses of showy pink flowers with maroon bracts on purplish stems. ‘Hopleys’ (Zones 7–10) is taller (up to 36 inches) with large, long-blooming, deep pink flowers, and is a vigorous grower, more tolerant of heat than ‘Herrenhausen’.

Origanum vulgare 'Aureum’ Origanum vulgare 'Aureum’
(Golden oregano)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Golden oregano is a robust creeper with tiny, rounded leaves 1/2 to 1 inch wide. Small, pink or lavender to purple flowers stand out above the foliage in early to late summer.

Oxalis triangularis Oxalis triangularis
(Love plant, Purple shamrock)
(5 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Purple shamrock's pretty foliage and dainty flowers make it a good choice for containers, borders, or indoors.

Oxalis vulcanicola 'Zinfandel' Oxalis vulcanicola 'Zinfandel'
(Volcanic sorrel)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The old-fashioned shamrock house­plant is now high fashion. Several introductions from Proven Winners push this group to the fore for its elegant foliage; abundant, delicate flowers; and vigor. Only 6 to 10 inches high with a spread to 12 inches, this plant’s tiny, ¾-inch-wide, bronze-colored leaf clusters and bright yellow flowers are massed on trailing stems that spill over the sides of shaded window boxes and containers.

no image available Panicum amarum 'Dewey Blue'
(Bitter switchgrass, Switchgrass)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A stunning, native dune grass, 'Dewey Blue' is perfect for coastal areas as well as inland gardens. Heat, drought, and humidity won't faze its noticeably graceful habit. This grass has exceptional blue foliage and a vigorous constitution. Airy, light beige flowers emerge in late summer and fall, persisting well into winter for a long season of interest. 'Dewey Blue' grows 4 to 5 feet tall and almost as wide.

Panicum virgatum 'Prairie Fire' Panicum virgatum 'Prairie Fire'
(‘Prairie Fire’ red switchgrass)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Prairie Fire' is a distinctly red form of switchgrass. Blue-green spring foliage turns shades of deep red by early summer and butter yellow in late fall. The grass persists into winter. 'Prairie Fire' has a fibrous root system that grows to more than 10 feet deep, making it drought tolerant. -Scott Vogt, Native grasses, Fine Gardening issue #124

Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons' Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons'
(Switch Grass)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Panicum Ruby Ribbons’ soft blue-green foliage emerges in the spring on upright, clumping plants. The foliage takes on a wine-red color in early summer, which intensifies as the season progresses. Flower heads appear in late summer, followed by ornamental seed heads, which, if left uncut, provide long-lasting winter interest.

Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah' Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'
('Shenandoah' red switchgrass)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Shenandoah' is truly a plant for all seasons. In early summer, its leaf blades are tipped in red, and by autumn, the entire leaf is a rich burgundy color, topped by pink plumes. In winter, the leaf color fades to beige; the blades persist and offer cover to birds. 'Shenandoah' is a compact selection of an American native prairie grass. -Chris Kelley, Regional Picks: Midwest, Fine Gardening issue #120

Pennisetum 'Fireworks' Pennisetum 'Fireworks'
(Variegated purple fountain grass)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Pennisetum 'Fireworks' is the first variegated purple fountain grass. The midvein, of the typical burgundy color, is flanked by hot pink margins.

Information provided by Santa Rosa Gardens.

 

Pennisetum glaucum 'Purple Majesty' Pennisetum glaucum 'Purple Majesty'
(Pearl millet)
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This cultivar of pearl millet has wide, deep purple foliage and stems. It forms a 5-foot-high specimen with tight cylindrical flowers of purple-brown seeds—a favorite of many birds. This plant makes a stunning container specimen. In the mixed border, its foliage contrasts nicely with other plants.

Pennisetum setaceum 'Fireworks' Pennisetum setaceum 'Fireworks'
(Variegated Purple Fountain Grass)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A refreshing new look to an old time favorite ornamental grass! Pennisetum ‘Fireworks’ is the first variegated purple fountain grass. The midvein is the typical burgundy color and is flanked by hot pink margins. Produces beautiful red-burgundy foxtail flowers. Great accent plant and excellent in containers. -Santa Rosa Gardens

Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'
(Purple fountain grass, Red fountain grass)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This tropical annual produces mounds of narrow burgundy-red foliage and purple plumes to 1 foot long. It is invaluable for containers and stunning, annual foliage color in a border. It rarely sets seed.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Husker Red' is one of the few penstemons that does well in wet winters and hot, humid summers. Ruby-toned leaves appear in spring, followed in late spring and early summer by 3-foot-high stems adorned by panicles of white blooms.  The flowers attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies, but the plants are not magnets for deer or rabbits. In autumn and winter, songbirds feast on the seed. For a stunning display, plant 'Husker Red' in groups. -Chris Kelley, Regional Picks: Midwest, Fine Gardening issue #120

Phalaris arundinacea and cvs. Phalaris arundinacea and cvs.
(Reed canary grass, Ribbon grass)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This evergreen, rhizomatous, perennial grass has an upright habit, with bamboo-like foliage to 14 inches tall. Flat, linear leaves are sometimes striped yellow. Pale green spikelets turn buff with age.

no image available Phormium 'Amazing Red'
('Amazing Red' New Zealand Flax)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This New Zealand flax has dark reddish brown leaves that form a neat clump less than 2 feet tall and about as wide. It makes a great container plant.

Phormium tenax Phormium tenax
(New Zealand flax)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

An excellent architectural specimen, New Zealand flax has a striking geometric shape and intriguingly colored foliage. Rigid, upright leaves to 10 feet long grow in a clump. Cultivars come in chocolate-brown or a mixture of cream, pink, and green stripes. In summer, this Phormium produces a 12-foot-tall spike of tubular red flowers.

Photinia × fraseri Photinia × fraseri
(Red tip)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is an upright evergreen shrub with lance-shaped leaves. Foliage emerges bright red or bronze, turning a leathery dark green. Small white flowers appear in mid- to late spring.

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Center Glow' Physocarpus opulifolius 'Center Glow'
(Ninebark)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This ninebark's new leaves unfurl a golden yellow and then mature to a rosy red-burgundy. Clusters of white blooms accompany the dramatic foliage in early summer, followed by bright red seedheads that fade to tan. 'Center Glow' is a fast grower and an ideal candidate for mixed borders or foundation plantings. It grows to 8 to 10 feet tall and almost as wide. In winter, the older stems have attractive peeling bark.

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Monlo' Physocarpus opulifolius 'Monlo'
(Diabolo® ninebark)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

With its upright, arching branches and dark chocolate to purple foliage, Diabolo® ninebark offers a color contrast with silver-leaved plants and makes a fine backdrop hedge. Clusters of button-like, pinkish white flowers appear in summer. Even when they fade to a tawny tone, they stand out nicely against the dark leaves. -Chris McKernan, Regional Picks: Lower Plains, Fine Gardening issue #120

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Seward' Physocarpus opulifolius 'Seward'
(Summer Wine ninebark)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Many gardeners know ninebark as an undistinguished shrub with ordinary green leaves, white flowers, and fall fruit. But 'Seward,' sold under the trademark name Summer WineTM, has outstanding burgundy leaves and pink flowers that bloom in early summer. This plant is super tough and makes a stunning focal point in a summer border.

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Nugget’ Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Nugget’
('Nugget' ninebark)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The yellow to lime green foliage of 'Nugget' ninebark makes an interesting contrast with the exfoliating, cinnamon-colored bark. Clusters of white flowers appear along the stems in early summer, followed by dark brown seed capsules, which add winter interest. Unsheared, the plant has a vase-shaped growth habit. -David Graper, Regional Reports: Upper Plains, Fine Gardening issue #122

no image available Picea pungens ‘Procumbens’
(Colorado blue spruce)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Procumbens' is similar to 'Pendula' in color but prostrate in habit, with cascading branches sometimes staying stiffly horizontal. Makes a spreading, undulating, mounding ground cover of silvery white needles.

Pilea involucrata Pilea involucrata
(Friendship plant)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Friendship plant—easily propagated and given to friends, hence the common name—is native to Central and South America. It has richly textured, bronzy leaves and makes a nice addition to containers where it can be appreciated up close. The flowers are not particularly noteworthy.

Plectranthus purpuratus Plectranthus purpuratus
(Purple Swedish ivy, Vick's plant)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Soft, fuzzy, purple-tinged leaves make this Plectranthus a good companion plant in containers.

Podophyllum 'Kaleidoscope' Podophyllum 'Kaleidoscope'
(Hybrid mayapple, Asian mayapple)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

As the cultivar name suggests, the leaves of ‘Kaleidoscope’ have distinctive markings, which can range in color from silver to light green to nearly black. Maroon flowers bloom in early summer. This plant is mostly evergreen. The plant's growth habit is umbrella-like. -Sylvia Matlock, Regional Picks: Northwest, Fine Gardening issue #127

Prunus virginiana 'Schubert' Prunus virginiana 'Schubert'
('Schubert' choke cherry)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Schubert' choke cherry, with its vivid foliage and pyramidal form, makes a fine focal point. Ephemeral, light pink flowers are followed by abundant, dark red-purple fruit that birds love. (Don't plant it near patios or walks, as they'll quickly be covered by bird droppings.) If the tree you buy isn't grafted onto nonsuckering rootstock; otherwise, suckers could become problematic as the years go by. -Ron Smith, Regional Picks: Upper Plains, Fine Gardening issue #120

Pyrus × Pyrus ×
(Asian pear)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This easy-to-grow, pest-resistant pear resembles a Bradford pear in size and shape, with profuse white blooms in spring and great crisp fruit. There are 30 cultivars.

Rhus typhina 'Tigereye Bailtiger' Rhus typhina 'Tigereye Bailtiger'
(Tiger eyes sumac, Staghorn sumac, Velvet sumac)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Lemon-lime foliage, fuzzy stems, and intense fall color make this sumac cultivar a standout. It grows into an upright, rounded form about 6 feet tall and as wide. New growth emerges chartreuse. Fall brings leaves of yellow, scarlet, and orange. Flowers are yellowish green and followed, on female plants, by hairy, dark red fruit. This plant spreads by suckers and can be invasive. The species is native to North America.

Ricinus communis 'Carmencita' Ricinus communis 'Carmencita'
(Castor bean)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Carmencita' castor bean is a shrub, usually grown as an annual, that grows to 6 to 10 feet and is well branched, with dark bronze-red foliage and bright red female flowers. Grow in a cool greenhouse or use as a specimen foliage plant in the summer outdoors.

Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia' Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia'
(Golden locust)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This large, fast-growing tree has droopy leaves that stay sunny yellow from spring until frost, spiny shoots, and fragrant white flowers in late spring and early summer on pendent racemes. The flowers are followed by smooth brown seed pods that are also interesting. 'Frisia' is one of the cultivars that is grown more for foliage than for its flowers and it does not flower as freely as the species.

Rumex sanguineus Rumex sanguineus
(Bloody dock, Red-veined dock, Bloody sorrel)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Red-veined dock is a taprooted perennial with a rosette of leaves distinctively marked with deep red or purple veins. It is grown mostly as a foliage plant or ornamental vegetable, but it also produces erect stems of tiny, star-shaped green flowers that turn reddish brown. These are followed by dark brown fruit. Native to Europe, northern Africa, and southwest Asia.

Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens' Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens'
(Common sage, Culinary sage, Purple sage)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Cooks and gardeners alike are indebted to this evergreen perennial for the unique, pungent flavor and aroma that its gray-green leaves produce. This cultivar has leaves suffused with steely-gray purple. It forms a 1.5-foot-tall and wide bush with woody stems that may be trimmed back to newly emerging growth or strong stems in spring. In early to mid-summer, it sends up lavender-purple flower spikes; it has both ornamental and culinary qualities in an herb garden. It tolerates alkaline soils, but cannot survive wet winter conditions.

Sambucus racemosa ‘Sutherland Gold’ Sambucus racemosa ‘Sutherland Gold’
(European red elder, Golden elderberry)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This choice specimen has a graceful habit with finely divided golden foliage that emerges as bronze. It is less susceptible to sun scorch than the other gold varieties. It bears creamy white flowers that mature into red fruits. 

Sedum 'Postman's Pride' Sedum 'Postman's Pride'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Postman's Pride' sedum is a wonderful dark-foliaged plant for sunny, dry locations. It has a semi-upright habit and produces masses of red to purple flowers from late summer through fall. The flowers attract honeybees and butterflies. Like other sedums, 'Postman's Pride' is useful in rock and xeriscape gardens because, once established, it thrives without irrigation except during severe droughts. Curious about the cultivar name? This plant was discovered by a Belgian postal carrier in his garden. -Ron Smith, Regional Picks: Upper Plains, Fine Gardening issue #120

Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'
(Stone orpine)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This vigorous, mat-forming, evergreen species has electric golden-yellow foliage that holds its color through the heat of summer. The foliage tips sometimes develop an orangey hue. In June and July, 'Angelina' has terminal clusters of star-shaped, vibrant yellow flowers. The drooping buds face upward when they open and the plant can grow to 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide. It is superlative as a groundcover, spilling over rock walls, and in containers. It also makes an excellent accent for plants with dark foliage.

Sedum sieboldii Sedum sieboldii
(October Daphne, Stonecrop)
(3 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This lovely mound-like species splays out from the center like a miniature fountain. It has half-inch rosy flowers in fall and blue-green leaves with matching rosy margins. Frosty temperatures bring out pink in the leaves. Sedum sieboldii grows to 4 inches tall and about twice as wide.

Sedum spurium 'Fuldaglut' Sedum spurium 'Fuldaglut'
(Two-row stonecrop)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This mat-forming species forms a carpet of rosy-red flowers in late July and August, contrasting against green leaves with bronzy-maroon highlights.

Sedum telephium 'Matrona' Sedum telephium 'Matrona'
(Stonecrop)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This choice cultivar boasts domed clusters of starry, pale-pink flowers with dark-tipped stamens. The foliage is medium blue-green, overlaid by tints of burgundy and stormy gray. The rich red stems reach up to 3 feet tall.

Setcreasea pallida 'Purple Heart' Setcreasea pallida 'Purple Heart'
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Purple Heart' is a trailing, tender perennial with purple stems and violet-purple leaves that produces pink flowers in summer. This plant is mainly grown for its foliage (leaves can reach 7 inches in length); best color is achieved in bright sunlight and a dry, cramped root zone. It is excellent as a groundcover or in containers or hanging baskets. It grows 8-12 inches tall and 16 inches wide.

no image available Smyrnium perfoliatum
(Perfoliate Alexanders)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This spring bloomer produces bright chartreuse floral domes atop bract-like, rounded leaves that are pierced by the flower's stem. This plant's form and color contrast well with spring bulbs. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Let it regenerate itself by self-sowing. It is a biennial or short-lived perennial that makes an excellent cut flower and produces worthy combinations with neighboring shades of maroons and blues. Grow it in large, mixed borders, naturalistic plantings, and open woodlands.

Solenostemon scutellarioides Solenostemon scutellarioides
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Coleus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11. The variously shaped leaves of these popular bedding plants typically combine several colors, such as chartreuse, rust red, cream, and purple-black. Some cultivars sport almost all of these colors combined. The darker the red in the leaf, the more sun the plant will tolerate. Coleus blooms in summer, but the blue to white nettle-like flowers are unremarkable and tend to detract visually from the impact of the foliage. -Debra Lee Baldwin, Regional Picks: Southern California, Fine Gardening issue #127

Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Religious Radish' Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Religious Radish'
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This adaptable coleus will grow in sun or shade. Its reddish pink and burgundy-black leaves are large and pointed. Use 'Religious Radish' in a container or as bedding.  

Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Sedona' Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Sedona'
('Sedona' coleus)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Sedona' coleus has leaves blessed with shades of pink and orange, giving the plant a bronzy appearance.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Amazon’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Amazon’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

An excellent chartreuse selection, 'Amazon' has ruffly leaves that glow after dusk. It doesn't burn or streak in hot summer sun and has strong stems. Coleus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11. They are easy to grow, reliable plants known for their colorful foliage that comes in many color combinations and mixes well with other garden plants.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Candy Store’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Candy Store’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Candy Store' is a different kind of pink coleus. Blocks of raspberry-pink, sour apple, grape, and cream enliven the leaves and make this plant a real eye-catcher. It has a nice rounded shape, strong stems, and thick foliage.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Dark Star’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Dark Star’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The simple, indigo-purple leaves of mid-size ‘Dark Star’ draw all eyes to its inky depths. Coleus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11. They are easy to grow, reliable plants known for their colorful foliage that comes in many color combinations and mixes well with other garden plants. 'Dark Star' contrasts well with white flowers or silver foliage, or it can be used to emphasize the blueness of certain flowers.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Fishnet Stockings’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Fishnet Stockings’
(Coleus, Painted nettle, Flame nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A tall, upright coleus, 'Fishnet Stockings' has inky black lines throughout its vivid lime green leaves, tracing the pattern of every vein. The leaves are neatly notched along the edges, which are also outlined in black. Coleus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11. They are easy to grow, reliable plants known for their colorful foliage that comes in many color combinations and mixes well with other garden plants. Blue to white nettle-like flowers bloom in racemes in summer, but are not showy and tend to visually detract from the attractiveness of the plants.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Florida Sun' Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Florida Sun'
('Florida Sun' coleus)
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Sunburn never looked so good as it does on 'Florida Sun'. The splotchy red and orange leaves make a vibrant addition to containers and hanging baskets, and a go-to plant for studies in contrast.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Little Twister’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Little Twister’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A mid-size coleus, perfect for filling gaps, 'Little Twister' has crimped, fingery leaves that emerge inky purple, then gradually change to predominantly yellow with lime edges and purple veins. Its 20-inch-long, deep purple stems and compact growth make ‘Little Twister’ a fabulous component of mixed containers.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Mariposa’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Mariposa’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Mariposa' is a big, upright, very striking coleus with 6- to 8-inch-long leaves that drape downward, allowing a clear view of their magnificent crimson-pink color. A single plant makes an imposing specimen. Coleus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Meandering Linda’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Meandering Linda’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

‘Meandering Linda’, a close cousin of  Solenostemon ‘Red Trailing Queen’, grows 16 inches tall and bears crinkly, chocolate-purple leaves banded in rich raspberry-pink, with touches of cream along the edges. It makes a scrumptious duo with anything silver, especially the elegant silver-white foliage of dusty miller (Centaurea cineraria ‘Colchester White’, Zones 7–11). ‘Meandering Linda’ appears to be a sport of ‘Red Trailing Queen’, and if planted in less than half-day sun, it sometimes reverts to its plain burgundy form.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘New Hurricane’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘New Hurricane’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

‘New Hurricane’ has fiery red-and-yellow foliage, as intricately cut as paper snowflakes. As a mid-size (25 inches tall) coleus, it is good for filling gaps, but its appearance makes it much more than just a filler.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Orange King’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Orange King’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

‘Orange King’ exemplifies one of the loveliest characteristics of coleus, the ability to glow like stained glass when struck by sunlight. Its leaves radiate warm orange on a sunny day. Coleus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11. They are easy to grow, reliable plants known for their colorful foliage that comes in many color combinations and mixes well with other garden plants.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Red Trailing Queen’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Red Trailing Queen’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

As basic as a black dress, 15-inch-tall ‘Red Trailing Queen’ bedecks herself from leaf to stem in regal burgundy. Her simple oval leaf shape and straightforward color complement most shades, except blue and true purple. The subtle strength of the coleus’s burgundy foliage strikes a balance with soft pinks or pale yellows as well as bright fuchsias or bold oranges.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Ruby Ruffles’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Ruby Ruffles’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

‘Ruby Ruffles’ has frilly, fingery foliage with ruby centers and chartreuse edges. It is a relatively compact trailer. Coleus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11. They are easy to grow, reliable plants known for their colorful foliage. Blue to white nettle-like flowers bloom in racemes in summer, but are not showy and tend to visually detract from the attractiveness of the plants.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Swallowtail’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Swallowtail’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

‘Swallowtail’ puts on a fantastic display of texture and color. Its rippled and deeply scalloped leaves are a remarkable lemon yellow, with a lettuce-green and wine-red river flowing through the center of each one. It grows to 24 inches tall.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Trailing Bleeding Heart’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Trailing Bleeding Heart’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The 14-inch-tall cultivar ‘Trailing Bleeding Heart’ has hot fuchsia-pink leaves ringed with purple and a band of lime green.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Trailing Salamander’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Trailing Salamander’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

‘Trailing Salamander’, which grows 14 inches tall, has oval, near-black leaves edged in bright lime. Its neutral color scheme makes it a choice filler for containers. It looks good with almost anything. Coleus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11. They are easy to grow, reliable plants. Blue to white nettle-like flowers bloom in racemes in summer, but are not showy and tend to visually detract from the attractiveness of the plants.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Vulcan’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Vulcan’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

26-inch-tall ‘Vulcan’ has a complex color scheme: crimson with an undercurrent of reddish rose, enhanced by brushes of black that heighten the richness of its crimped, puckered leaves. A defining edge of lemon yellow causes the leaves to stand out from one another instead of blurring into a solid mass of color. ‘Vulcan’ makes such a dramatic statement that a single plant can carry a scene for the entire season. Use it to brighten a dull stretch of spring-blooming plants when the main show is over, or combine ‘Vulcan’ with asters and mums that don't contribute much to the garden until late summer.

Sorghastrum nutans 'Indian Steel' Sorghastrum nutans 'Indian Steel'
(Indian grass)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Golden yellow plumes and a vase-like form give 'Indian Steel' a refined look. On the flower spikes, bright yellow pollen sacs stand out against the darker seed heads. Metallic blue foliage morphs to a coppery tan shade after frost. 'Indian Steel' tolerates a range of soil types, including heavy clay. -Scott Vogt, Native grasses, Fine Gardening issue #124

Strobilanthes dyerianus Strobilanthes dyerianus
(Persian shield)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A soft-stemmed shrub grown for its extraordinary foliage, Persian shield has thick, quilted purple leaves to 6 inches long splashed with iridescent pewter or silver. In autumn, it bears delicate funnel-shaped violet flowers in an eye-catching spike formation.

no image available Thalictrum flavum ssp. glaucum
(Yellow meadow rue, Dusty meadow rue)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This classy specimen has beautifully textured, blue-gray foliage. Its summertime pale yellow flowers are petalless and fringed, occurring in clusters atop chalky bluish gray stems. Plant at the back of a border; it may require staking.

Thalictrum isopyroides Thalictrum isopyroides
(Meadow rue)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This species has exquisite tiny foliage that looks somewhat like parsley but with a steely blue cast. The leaves clothe stems that reach up to 18 inches in height. In early summer, it bears tiny greenish yellow flowers in starlike clusters. Plants grow to about 18 inches wide.

Thalictrum rochebruneanum Thalictrum rochebruneanum
(Meadow rue)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This beautiful specimen has tall, delicate stems punctuated by clusters of columbine-like, bluish gray leaves. In summer, it bears sprays of nodding lavender-pink or white flowers with pale yellow stamens that reach as high as 3 feet. Plants grow to 12 inches wide. Plant at the back of a border; it may require staking.

Tiarella 'Black Snowflake' Tiarella 'Black Snowflake'
(Foam flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This clump-forming variety has very dramatic, deeply cut foliage with wide black veins that looks like a black snowflake when new. The dark color is more pronounced in cool weather. Plants produce a profusion of starry white flowers on numerous spires up to 12 inches high and grow to about a foot wide. Tiarellas are at home in moist woodland environments. In the garden they make wonderful carpets of intricate leaves. For a long period from spring into summer, the profusion of foamy flowers can be appreciated up close or from a distance. Grow 'Black Snowflake' as a groundcover or edger in a shady border or woodland garden. It is a great foil to early spring bulbs.

Tiarella 'Dark Eyes' Tiarella 'Dark Eyes'
(Foam flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This running cultivar has notably large light-pink flowers that appear in spring and then rebloom. It has a compact habit with maple-like leaves marked with burgundy centers. Foliage turns bronze in the fall. Plants grow to about 14 inches tall and slightly wider.

Tiarella 'Mint Chocolate' Tiarella 'Mint Chocolate'
(Foam flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This clump-forming variety has unusually long, maple-shaped leaves with a chocolate-colored overlay. It is topped in spring by 16-inch spires of pink buds which yield to wispy, starlike ivory flowers. Plants rebloom lightly, so they can flower from spring to mid-summer. 'Mint Chocolate' grows to about 16 inches tall and a foot wide.

Tiarella 'Neon Lights' Tiarella 'Neon Lights'
(Foam flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This clump-forming variety has exquisitely textured, bright green maple-like leaves emblazoned with chocolate centers. In spring, its large pink-kissed-white flowers rebloom lightly on 16-inch stalks. Leaf coloration is best in cool weather. Plants grow to about a foot wide.

Tiarella 'Spring Symphony' Tiarella 'Spring Symphony'
(Foam flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This reblooming, clump-forming variety blooms in spring, producing 15-inch spires densely packed with pink blossoms. Its deeply cut foliage is compact, with black markings along the midrib. Plants grow to about 10 inches tall and wide. 

Tiarella 'Starfish' Tiarella 'Starfish'
(Foam flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A good choice for winter color, this clump-forming variety is often grown for its long lasting, pink-budded white flowers that appear in late spring on 12-inch spires. Its star-shaped leaves are marked with burgundy and, in mild climates, turn bronze in winter. Plants grow to about 1 foot tall and wide.

no image available Tiarella wherryi 'Oakleaf'
(Foam flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This cultivar of the North American species has reddish, deeply lobed, oak-like leaves that mature to dark green with burgundy splashes. From late spring to early summer it produces a profusion of starry pink flowers for up to 8 weeks. Plants grow to about 18 inches tall and wide.

Trillium recurvatum Trillium recurvatum
(Prairie trillium, Bloody butcher, Purple wakerobin, Wood lily, Trinity flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is one of the first and most plentiful Trilliums to bloom in the spring. It has upright maroon blossoms (occasionally white or yellow) without stalks, and its leaves can be nicely mottled. It grows to 12-18 inches tall and 8-12 inches wide.

no image available Tulipa 'Esperanto'
(Tulip)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Tulipa 'Esperanto' has white-bordered leaves, but it is unique with its long-lasting deep rose red and dark green streaked flowers, which stand 10 to 12 inches tall.

Vinca minor 'Illumination' Vinca minor 'Illumination'
(Common periwinkle, creeping myrtle)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Like other creeping myrtles, 'Illumination' is a tough evergreen ground cover for shade that will grow in almost any soil. Its hallmark is its bright gold leaves that are edged with a border of irregular green. Periwinkle-blue flowers appear in spring. Use 'Illumination' as a shade ground cover or in hanging baskets. -Tom Nelson, Regional Picks: Northern California, Fine Gardening issue #127

no image available Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’
(Purpleleaf grape)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

One of the best vines for colorful fall foliage, this woody deciduous climber has graceful purple leaves which redden in autumn for a fiery foliage display. Also in autumn, the vine bears clusters of tiny, edible blue-black grapes that are sweet inside but have bitter skins.

Weigela florida Weigela florida
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A deciduous shrub, wiegela has gracefully arching branches studded with pink tubular flowers. Dwarf, medium, and tall cultivars are now available for the front, middle, or back of the border: 'Midnight Wine' has dark burgundy foliage and pink flowers; 2- to 3-foot-tall and wide 'Minuet' has purplish-green foliage and magenta-rose and pale purple flowers; and 'Dark Horse' has dark burgundy foliage and deep pink flowers. Many other garden-worthy cultivars are available.

x Heucherella 'Sweet Tea' x Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'
('Sweet Tea' heucherella)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Anyone who gardens in the shade is familiar with heucherella. ‘Sweet Tea’ was bred using Heuchera villosa, a native of the eastern United States, as one of its parents, which has added enough resistance to heat, drought, and humidity to make it able to handle even the extreme climate of Texas. ‘Sweet Tea’ has large, stained, orange-bronze leaves with dark burgundy veins and short spikes of small white flowers that appear in early spring. Its brightly colored foliage, however, is the main reason to have this plant. Give it well-drained soil, and lift and divide it every couple of years. -Jimmy Turner, Perennials for dry shade, Fine Gardening issue #133

Xanthosoma aurea ‘Lime Zinger’ Xanthosoma aurea ‘Lime Zinger’
(Elephant ear)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This elephant ear has 2-foot-long, heart-shaped chartreuse leaves that flutter in the slightest breeze and seem to glow, even on cloudy days. It performs well in full sun and partial shade and doesn’t mind slightly acidic, rich, moist soil

Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’
(Adam's needle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This dramatic architectural plant is one of the most beautiful variegated yuccas on the market. Its sword-shaped leaves bear bold central stripes of bright canary-yellow against a rich celadon edge. In cool weather, margins are tinged pink, and the entire yellow stripe turns rose-colored on many of the leaves, lasting through early spring. Plants grow to 2 feet wide and nearly as tall. Branched clusters of nodding, creamy-white bells open in mid-summer on stout stems that reach 6 feet tall.

Yucca filamentosa ‘Golden Sword’ Yucca filamentosa ‘Golden Sword’
(Adam's needle, Bear grass, Weak-leaf yucca, Golden Sword soapwort)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This easy to grow evergreen yucca bears dramatic, sword-shaped yellow leaves with a dark green edge. Not as staunchly upright as some yuccas, its leaf tips sometimes droop with age. Its foliage color is best from fall to spring. Plants grow to nearly 2 feet in height and 3 feet in width. In summer, it produces a 6-foot-tall spike covered with nodding, fragrant, white bell-shaped flowers.


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