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Northeast Regional Reports

Regional Picks: Variegated Plants for Shade—Northeast

Fine Gardening - Issue 194

1. ‘Pamela Harper’ Italian Arum

‘Pamela Harper’ Italian Arum
Photo: courtesy of Far Reaches Farm

Arum italicum ‘Pamela Harper’

Zones: 5–9

Size: 8 to 12 inches tall and 2 feet wide

Conditions: Partial to full shade; rich, evenly moist soil

Native range: Southern and Western Europe

This tuberous perennial is best known for its remarkable late winter foliage. In mid-autumn, new arrowhead-shaped leaves break ground, displaying silver-white mottling enhanced with dark green margins. Hooded green spathes emerge in early spring. These spathes encompass spadices adorned with small white flowers. The lovely foliage will die back as spring ends, but the remaining flower stalks develop orange-red fruit by autumn. Although the straight species can be aggressive in milder climates, the variegated forms are slower to expand, and ‘Pamela Harper’ has never been aggressive in my Zone 6a garden. This plant is poisonous, so few critters will disturb it.

 

2. ‘Silver Angel’ Japanese Shrub Mint

‘Silver Angel’ Japanese Shrub Mint
Photo: millettephotomedia.com

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