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Regional Picks: Underused Perennials – Northeast

Fine Gardening - Issue 187

1. Himalayan Maidenhair Fern

Name: Adiantum venustum

Zones: 5–8

Size: 6 to 12 inches tall and 12 to 36 inches wide

Conditions: Partial to full shade; average to moist, well-drained soil

Native Range: China and the Himalayas

This little fern’s fine-textured triangular fronds are a superb addition to any shade garden, especially when spilling over edges and rocks. Though it may appear tender, Himalayan maidenhair hails from chilly climes and remains evergreen into the teens. Like native maidenhair fern (A. pedatum, Zones 3–8), this plant thrives in well-drained soils rich in organic matter. It spreads to form a three-foot mat in time and, like others of the fern clan, proves a valuable asset to gardeners contending with deer.

 

2. ‘Misty Blue’ Baneberry

Name: Actaea pachypoda ‘Misty Blue’

Zones: 3–9

Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Partial to full shade; average to moist soil

Native Range: Eastern North America

Introduced by the Mount Cuba Center in Delaware,…

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