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Regional Picks: Shrubs For Shade – Northwest

Fine Gardening - Issue 188

1. ‘Picturata’ Aucuba

Name: Aucuba japonica ‘Picturata’

Zones: 7–10

Size: 5 to 6 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide in 10 years

Conditions: Partial to full shade; prefers well-drained soil but tolerates clay soil

Native range: China, Korea, Japan

A workhorse in a shade garden, aucuba adds bold texture and year-round interest while enduring less-than-ideal conditions. ‘Picturata’, with a bold splash of bright yellow in the center of each leaf, becomes an eye-catching beacon in any garden. This female clone will produce red berries if planted with a male selection, such as ‘Mr. Goldstrike’. Remove reversions of green or spotted foliage to preserve the true form.


2. Cascade Oregon Grape

Name: Mahonia nervosa

Zones: 6–9

Size: 2 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to full shade; prefers well-drained soil but tolerates clay

Native range: Western North America

One of the West Coast’s most useful natives, Cascade Oregon grape forms whorls of deep green, evergreen…

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