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Drought tolerant shade plants

These perennials tend to either tolerate or enjoy dry shade garden conditions. A few actually need these conditions to thrive, others will need some moisture from time to time but are considered drought tolerant.

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Asarum canadense

Asarum canadense, Canadian wild ginger, is a native woodland plant with satiny and fuzzy, medium green heart shaped leaves with brown-purple flowers at soil level. It grows 6 to 10" high and spreads 24" or more to make a great shady groundcover.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • Field grown divisions with 5 or more growth points, freshly dug and shipped bare root
  • $8.95
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    Asarum europaeum

    Asarum europaeum, European ginger, is a handsome, shady groundcover with glossy, dark, evergreen leaves with brown-purple flowers at soil level. It grows 3 to 5" high and 12" wide, spreaading by seed to make a great shady groundcover.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • 2nd and 3rd year field grown plants with 2 to 3 growth points
  • $8.95
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    Brunnera 'Alexander's Great'

    Brunnera 'Alexander's Great' forms a much larger plant than Brunnera 'Jack Frost', with larger leaves that make an impressive statement in the shade garden. Silvery heart-shaped leaves have green veining and are topped with tiny, sky blue forget-me-not like flowers in spring.  It forms a 30" wide clump. (PP#25789)

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • Field grown plant shipped bare root
  • $14.95
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    Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

    Brunnera 'Jack Frost' (PP#13859) is a wonderful plant that really stands out in the shade garden. It has silvery heart-shaped leaves with prominent green veining and is topped with tiny, sky blue forget-me-not like flowers in spring.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • 3rd year field grown plant shipped bare root
  • $10.95
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    Cimicifuga 'Cheju Do'

    Cimicifuga 'Cheju Do' (also listed as Actaea 'Cheju Do') has basal clumps of glossy, dark green dissected leaves topped in mid to late summer with multiple spikes of pink buds that open to starry white flowers.  The foliage stays compact at about 18" high and the flower spikes will reach 3' high.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • Field grown divisions with 3 to 5 eyes shipped bare root
  • $10.95
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    Corydalis 'Chocolate Stars'

    Corydalis 'Chocolate Stars' is one of our favorite shade plants though it is not particularly well known.  Each clump emerges with bronzy leaves in early spring that turn green, followed by arching, slightly branching flower clusters that hold many small, tubular, purple flowers.  It forms a clump about 24" high and up to 36" wide over time.

  • Ships late March to mid May and again after mid September
  • Field grown division, freshly dug and shipped bare root
  • $12.95
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    Corydalis lutea

    Corydalis lutea has many long blooming, soft yellow flowers above 15" clumps of lacy blue-green foliage. It is hardy, easy to grow, and self-sows freely, making it useful as a ground cover, especially in dry shade.

  • Ships late March through May and again after mid September
  • 2 to 3 year field grown plant, freshly dug and shipped bare root
  • $7.95
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    Dicentra 'King of Hearts'

    Dicentra 'King of Hearts' is a dwarf, fern-leaf bleeding heart with fine, blue-green foliage forming a 6 to 8" mound that is topped with heart-shaped pink flowers from spring to fall! Plant in good, well-drained, relatively dry soil.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • 2 to 3 eye field grown plant shipped bare root
  • $10.95
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    Dicentra 'Valentine'

    Dicentra 'Valentine' (PP#22739) is an old-fashioned bleeding heart with reddish flowers instead of pink! It forms a large, 30" mound of green, cut foliage on fleshy stems. This selection has excellent flower color and darker green foliage than the traditional species.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • 2 to 3 eye field grown plants, freshly dug and shipped bare root
  • $12.95
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    3-4  $10.00
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    Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba'

    Dicentra s. 'Alba' is the white blooming, old-fashioned bleeding heart. It forms a large, 30" mound of powdery green, cut foliage on fleshy stems and in spring has many long branches of pure white, heart-shaped flowers.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • 2 to 3 eye field grown plants, freshly dug and shipped bare root
  • $10.95
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    Diplazium pycnocarpon

    Diplazium pycnocarpon, glade fern, has 24 to 36" arching and upright fronds with smooth, medium green, feathery blade pairs. It is easy to grow and relatively drought tolerant, slow spreading, forming a dense colony. (AKA Deparia pycnosora)

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • Field grown rhizome, freshly dug and shipped bare root
  • $9.95
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    Epimedium 'Amber Queen'

    Epimedium 'Amber Queen' is a spreading barrenwort with late spring flowers made up of bright yellow spurs and a reddish-orange center that blossom all along the 18 to 24" flower scapes. It spreads slowly into an 18 to 24" wide clump.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid-September
  • Divisions with 2 to 3 growth points
  • $12.95
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    Epimedium 'Frohnleiten'

    Epimedium 'Frohnleiten' is a slow spreading variety of barrenwort with bright yellow flowers in early spring over bronze-pink foliage that turns dark green in summer and back to bronze in the fall. It is easy to grow so long as the rhizomes are planted and covered with some good soil and it receives occasional moisture. It grows 8 to 12" high and 18 to 24" wide.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid-September
  • Divisions with 3 to 5 growth points
  • $9.95
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    Epimedium 'Lilafee'

    Epimedium 'Lilafee' is a shorter, clumping barrenwort with long spurred purple flowers in spring above bronze-red tinted foliage that turns green in summer. The flowers grow 8 - 12" tall and the clumps spread 15 to 18" wide.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid-September
  • Field grown plant shipped bare root
  • $9.95
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    Epimedium 'Orange Queen'

    Epimedium 'Orange Queen' (aka 'Orangekönigen') has delightful light copppery-orange flowers that rise up in open clusters ahead of the new spring foliage. This variety is an excellent spreading groundcover with medium green, heart shaped leaves growing 12" tall and 18 to 24" wide.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid-September
  • Field grown plant shipped bare root
  • $9.95
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    Epimedium 'Pink Champagne'

    Epimedium 'Pink Champagne' is a slow spreading barrenwort with long white spurs and raspberry-pink centers that flower in masses over green, burgundy splashed leaves. It flowers about 18" high and 18 to 24" wide.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid-September
  • Divisions with 2 to 3 growth points
  • $12.95
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    Epimedium 'Sulphureum'

    Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum' is a semi-clumping barrenwort with short spurred, light yellow flowers that rise up above red tinted, heart shaped leaves in the spring. The flowers grow 12" tall and the clumps spread 18 to 24" wide.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid-September
  • Field grown division shipped bare root
  • $9.95
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    Heuchera 'Berry Smoothie'

    Heuchera 'Berry Smoothie' (PP#21871) emerges in the spring with a metallic rose-pink leaves that age to a purplish color with a slight overlay. It grows 18" high and 20" wide with 28" tall white flowers.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after October 1st
  • 3 quart container grown, shipped bare root
  • $9.75
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    Heuchera 'Paris'

    Heuchera 'Paris' (PP#18881) has veiled green foliage with large spikes of deep pink flowers that last for about 2 months during the summer.  Each clump grows 7" high and 14" wide with 14" high flower stalks.  It grows best in part sun to part shade but will tolerate full shade as long as the location isn't wet.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after October 1st
  • 3 quart container grown, shipped bare root
  • $10.75
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    Heuchera 'Rave On'

    Heuchera 'Rave On' (PP#18127) is all about flower power! Tight and compact silvery leaves with burgundy tones are covered with pink flowers for several months from spring into summer. It grows 8" high and 14" wide with 20" flowers.  Does great even in full sun.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after October 1st
  • 3 quart container grown, shipped bare root
  • $10.75
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    Iris foetidissima

    Iris foetidissima is a shade loving iris with small pale lavender flowers in the summer and in the fall the large seed pods open to reveal attractive orange to scarlet seeds. They grow 24" high and the foliage stays green year round.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • Divisions from field grown plants, freshly dug and shipped bare root
  • $8.95
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    Lamiastrum 'Herman's Pride'

    Lamiastrum 'Herman's Pride' forms an attractive 12 to 15" mound of green veined, silver foliage that is completely covered with light yellow flowers in early summer. These dense clumping plants work great as a border plant in the shade garden.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • Field grown divisions, freshly dug and shipped bare root
  • $8.95
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    Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum'

    Polygonatum o. 'Variegatum' (variegated Solomon's seal) is an excellent shade plant with arching stems and upward pointed, green leaves edged in creamy white that grow 24" tall and spread to form a dense colony. Small white flowers dangle below the stems from the leaf axils in early summer.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • 2 to 3 eye rhizomes, freshly dug and shipped bare root
  • $8.95
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    3-4  $8.45
    5-9  $7.95
    10+  $6.95
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    Tiarella 'Timbuktu'

    Tiarella 'Timbuktu' has slightly fragrant 10" high white bottlebrush flower spikes in the spring above cut green leaves that develop purple markings in the center of each leaf as the season progresses. It is a nice compact clumping type that is a nice native addition to the dry and well-draining shade garden.

  • Ships April to mid-May and again after mid September
  • Field grown plant shipped bare root
  • $10.95
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    Tiarella wherryi 'Silverado'

    Tiarella 'Silverado' has 8" high soft green foliage with prominent green veins. It is topped with many white flower spikes in early spring and has attractive dark foliage in the fall.

  • Ships late March to mid-May and again after mid September
  • 3rd year field grown plant, freshly dug and shipped bare root
  • $9.95
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