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Regional Picks: Shrubs For Shade – California

Fine Gardening - Issue 188

1. ‘Marjorie’ Pittosporum

Name: Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Marjorie Channon’

Zones: 8–11

Size: 8 to 12 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to full shade; sandy or loamy soil

Native range: New Zealand

This evergreen pittosporum is prized mainly for its variegation: light green leaves with cream-colored edges on black stems. It flowers in spring with half-inch, bell-shape, dark red blooms. Because it is such a slow grower, this is not going to be your top pick for a privacy hedge or screen, but it is great in containers or as a foundation plant. Its airy structure can withstand windy and/or seaside conditions.

 

2. ‘Leather Leaf’ Coffeeberry

Name: Rhamnus californica ‘Leatherleaf’

Zones: 7–10

Size: 6 to 8 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to full shade; well-drained soil

Native range: California and Mexico

This cultivar of coffeeberry has thick, dark green leaves with the margins rolled under, giving them a beautiful leathery look. Flowering…

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