1. Sycamore-Leaved False Nettle
Name: Boehmeria platanifolia
USDA hardiness zones: 5 to 8
Size: 3 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide
Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil
Its common name might be a mouthful, but sycamore-leaved false nettle is a plant worth telling a friend about. Though it resembles a sycamore (Platanus spp. and cvs., Zones 3–8), this perennial has 5-inch-wide leaves that look more like serrated green clamshells arranged symmetrically up its stems, each connected by a red petiole. Subtle but beautiful, this easy-care plant promises to add drama to any shade garden. Thin sprays of white flowers—a textural contrast—appear in late summer through fall. Though it prefers even moisture, this nettle can also take moderately dry shade.
Name: Rheum rhabarbarum and cvs.
Zones: 3 to 8
Size: 2 to 3 feet tall (3 to 5 feet in bloom) and 3 to 4 feet wide
Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; average soil
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