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Browse Plants

Narrowed By:Uses: Beds and Borders + Moisture: Dry
Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 listings   Sort By: Sort
Agastache aurantiaca 'Just Peachy' Agastache aurantiaca 'Just Peachy'
('Just Peachy' hummingbird mint, 'Just Peachy' hyssop)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A cultivar discovered at High Country Gardens in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this aromatic, water-wise perennial grows to 30 inches tall and 18 inches wide and features fine, mint-scented, gray-green leaves and spikes of tubular flowers in shades of  soft pink and peach from summer to early fall. The plant is hugely attractive to hummingbirds, hence its common name. It is resistant to heat and drought, and can be used in both mixed borders and containers.

Agastache aurantiaca 'Shades of Orange' Agastache aurantiaca 'Shades of Orange'
('Shades of Orange' hummingbird mint, 'Shades of Orange' hyssop)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A cultivar discovered at High Country Gardens in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this aromatic, water-wise perennial grows to 30 inches tall and 18 inches wide and features fine, mint-scented, gray-green leaves and spikes of tubular flowers in shade of orange from mid-summer to fall. The plant is hugely attractive to hummingbirds, hence the common name.

Antennaria spp. Antennaria spp.
(Pussy-toes, Cat's ears)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Low-growing rosettes of long gray leaves covered in fine gray hairs and gray-white flowers in spring that resemble a cat's paw make Antennaria great plants for edging, pathways, or stone walls.

Artemisia ludoviciana Artemisia ludoviciana
(Western mugwort)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is a high-drama native. Its gracious, high-impact, powdery-white shrubby mounded foliage grows to 4 feet tall.

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

Cerastium tomentosum Cerastium tomentosum
(Snow-in-summer)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Snow-in-summer is great for rock gardens and dry areas, and also works well as a container plant. Plant it on a stone wall for a cascading effect. Snow-in-summer needs room to perform. A single plant can carpet an area as wide as a yard across. After the flowers fade, the silver/grey foliage shines on in contrast to more predictable shades of green.

Cotoneaster 'Tom Thumb’ Cotoneaster 'Tom Thumb’
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This compact, low-growing, and self-rooting deciduous shrub is useful as an underplanting or ground cover. Its shiny dense foliage turns a brilliant red in the fall and requires little or no pruning.

Cynara cardunculus Cynara cardunculus
(Cardoon)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Cardoon is an architectural splendor with bold texture, thanks to its large, prickly, almost dagger-shaped gray-green arching leaves and a statuesque, vase-shaped frame. It is topped with round, purple, thistlelike flowers in midsummer. Cardoon can reach up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

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. 

Lavandula angustifolia Lavandula angustifolia
(English lavender)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

English lavender has silvery gray, aromatic foliage topped in summer with lavender-blue to dark purple flowers on long stems.

Leucophyllum frutescens Leucophyllum frutescens
(Silver leaf, Texas sage)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Silver leaf is a flowering evergreen shrub with arching branches and woolly, silvery gray leaves. In summer, it bears solitary, bell-shaped rose-purple flowers an inch across.

Limonium latifolium Limonium latifolium
(Sea lavender)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Sea lavender is a rosette-forming perennial with mid- to dark-green leaves to 12 inches long, occasionally to 24 inches. Deep lavender-blue flowers are borne in panicles made of spikelets on wiry stems.

no image available Lygeum spartium
(Esparto grass)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Silver-blue, rushlike foliage is graced by one of the most distinctive flowers of all grasses: the inflorescence looks like little origami birds. 

no image available Olea europaea 'Little Ollie'
(Olive)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This dwarf, non-fruiting olive cultivar is an evergreen tree reaching 4 to 6 feet high and wide. It has attractive dark green leaves.

Opuntia compressa Opuntia compressa
(Eastern prickly pear cactus)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Prickly pear cactus is a clump-forming and semi-prostrate plant. Flattened round-to-oval green pads 2-10 inches across have scattered needle-like spines and tufts of glochids (bristles). Showy bright yellow flowers appear in late spring and summer, maturing to edible, pulpy, red or purple fruit.

Ruta graveolens Ruta graveolens
(Common rue)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Rue is an evergreen shrub with an upright, rounded form and cool, ferny blue-green foliage. Clusters of cup-shaped, four-petaled yellow flowers appear in summer.

no image available Salpiglossis sinuata and cvs.
(Painted tongues)
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Long, narrow leaves grow in rosettes near the ground. Flower stems shoot upward to 2 feet with 3-inch-wide, petunia-like, purple, blue, or scarlet flowers marked with broad veins of gold. Cultivars include 'Splash,' 'Bolero,' and the more compact-growing 'Casino'.

Salvia koyamae Salvia koyamae
(Japanese yellow sage)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

At first glance, this Japanese woodland native does not look as if it belongs in a shade garden, but
I find its spreading foliage and light-colored flowers do wonderfully as a small ground cover in dry-shade areas. Creamy yellow flower spikes sporadically appear from summer to fall, but hand-size, hairy green leaves are another attraction of this plant. It contrasts well with so many other fine-textured shade perennials that the flowers can be considered just a bonus. Japanese yellow sage is not choosy about soil pH or type. The spreading stems root as they touch the ground, eventually forming large, wide clumps. You can easily transplant any piece of rooted stem to fill gaps in your shade garden. -Jimmy Turner, Perennials for dry shade, Fine Gardening issue #133


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