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Midwest Regional Reports

Regional Picks: Variegated Plants for Shade—Midwest

Fine Gardening - Issue 194
Photo: millettephotomedia.com

1. ‘Purpurea Tricolor’ European Beech

Name: Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea Tricolor’

Zones: 4–7

Size: 20 to 30 feet tall and 10 to 20 feet wide

Conditions: Partial shade; well-drained soil

Native range: Central Europe to the Caucasus

This tree has been around for a while, but it is still a favorite of mine. If it is sited just right, where light can trickle through the upper canopy to backlight the leaves, the pink glow it gives off is just stunning. Its foliage has a dark rosy flush in spring that will fade to a softer pink as the summer progresses and the variegation starts to bleach toward white. In the Midwest, it performs best in a partially shaded location; the leaves will burn in full afternoon sun. It also needs very well-drained soil and will not tolerate heavy clay or wet feet.

Photo: millettephotomedia.com

2. ‘Banana Boat’ Broad-Leaved Sedge

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