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Mick’s Shade List

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Shade presents one of the biggest design challenges in the landscape. This list offers a number of choices in several categories. “Shade” is a relative term, ranging in degree between dense to dappled. Given an option, most plants prefer sunshine over shade; many plants tolerate shade, but blooming is reduced and the internode length between leaves lengthens.

Perennials:

Acuba/Gold dust plant — Aucuba japonica
Ajuga/Bugleweed – Ajuga reptans
Aspidistra — Aspidistra elatior
Brugmansia – Brugmansia suaveolens, B. aurea, B. hybrids
Bee balm – Monarda fistulosa
Bicolor sage – Savia sinaloaensis
Bleeding heart – Dicentra spectablis
Blue mistflower – Conoclinium colestinum (Eupatorium colestinum)
‘Blue Shade’ Ruellia – Ruellia squarrosa
Brazos penstemon – Penstemon tenius
Cardinal flower/Lobelia – Lobelia cardinalis
Cedar sage – Salvia romeriana
Chameleon plant’/ ‘Fish mint’ — Houttuynia cordata
Chile pequin / petin – Capsicum annum
Clerodendrum — Clerodendrum bungei (spreads aggressively)
Creeping jenny – Lysimachia nummularia
Coralbean – Erythrina herbacea
Datura, Sacred Thornapple – Datura wrightii
Dead nettle — Lamium maculatum
Dichondra – Dichondra micranthra
Fall aster — Aster oblongifolius
Ferns: Autumn, Cinnamon, Holly are evergreen; River, Maiden Hair, Japanese Silver / Painted, Boston, Korean Rock, *Leatherleaf (20°), Macho (20°), Tassel, Fishtail, Xmas, Royal, Lace Lady, etc.
Frogfruit – Phyla nodiflora
Garden hydrangea — Hydrangea macrophylla
Giant coralbean – Erythrina x bidwilli
Golden groundsel – Packera obovata (Senecio obovatus)
Gulf penstemon — Penstemon tenuis
Heartleaf skullcap – Scutellaria ovata var. bracteata
Hinckley’s columbine — Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana
Hoja santa/rootbeer plant (invasive, will take over a bed) – Piper auritum
Horseherb — Calyptocarpus vialis
Japanese Aralia — Fatsia japonioca
Jerusalem sage: standard, little leaf, bigleaf – Phlomis fruticosa
Joe pye weed — Eupatorium maculatum (best in moist areas)
‘Katie’s Dwarf’ Mexican petunia – Ruellia brittoniana ‘Katie’
Leadwort, Hardy plumbago – Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
Mahonia, creeping – Mahonia repens
Mexican firespike – Odontonema stirctum
Mexican honeysuckle — Justicia spicigera
Mexican petunia (invasive, will take over the bed) – Ruellia brittonia
Mexican sage — Salvia mexicana
Mints:

Apple mint, Pineapple mint – Mentha suaveolens
Bergamot or Orange mint – Mentha citrata
Chocolate mint – Mentha piperita cv. ‘Chocolate’
Pennyroyal – Mentha pulegium
Peppermint – Mentha piperita
Spearmint – Mentha spicata

Moneywort/Creeping Jenny — Lysimachia nummularia
Mountain pea — Orbexilum pedunculatum
Mountain sage — Salvia regla
Myoporum, Dwarf Native — Myoporum parviflorum
Myoporum, Small-leaf — Myoporum brevifolium
New Jersey tea — Ceanothus americanus
Oak leaf hydrangea – Hydrangea quercifolia
Obedient plant — Physotegia spp.
Pigeonberry – Rivinia humilis
Purple heart, Purple wandering Jew – Tradescantia pallida ‘Purperea’
‘Red Velvet’ little leaf sage (and other Salvia microphyllas)
Red columbine – Aquilegia canadensis
Rock rose pavonia – Pavonia lasiopetala
Rosemallow – Hibiscusmoscheutos
Shrimp plant (red and yellow): Justicia brandegeeana
Spiderwort – Tradescantia humilis and many hybrids
Texas Aster — Aster texanus
Texas betony – Stachys coccinea
Tropical sage – Salvia coccinea
Turk’s cap – Malaviscus arboreus var. drummondii
Vinca:

Bigleaf periwinkle – Vinca major
Dwarf periwinkle – Vinca minor

Water clover – Marsilea macropoda
Wedelia/Creeping Daisy — Sphagneticola trilobata
White mistflower – Ageratina havanensis (Eupatorium havanensis)
Wood violet – Viola palmata
Yarrow — Achillea millefolium

Shade sages:
Autum — S. greggii (can take part shade, with reduced blooming the result)
Bicolor – S. sinaloaensis
Cedar — S. roemeriana
Forsythia — S. madrensis, will spread by underground runners
Engelmann’s – S. engelmannii
Lyre leaf — S. lyrata
Majestic — S. guaranitica, i.e., ‘Black and Blue’
Mexican — S. Mexicana
Little Leaf — S. microphylla; ‘Hot Lips’, ‘San Luis’, ‘Pink Floyd’
Mountain — S. regla
Pineapple — S. elegans
Purple leaf — S. blepharophylla
Silver carpet — S. chionophylla
Smooth leaf — S. miniata
Tropical — S. coccinea, red, white, pink, white and pink (‘Brenthurst’)

Annuals:

Amethyst flower – Browallia hyb.
Baby blue eyes – Nemophila phacelioides
Begonia — Begonia semperflorens
Blue curls – Phacelia congesta
Bluebells — Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum
Caladium – Caladium bicolor
Candytuft – Iberis sempervirens
Cat’s whiskers, Java Tea — Orthosiphon aristatus
Coleus — Solenostemon scutellarioides
Copper plant – Acalypha wilkesiana
Cuban oregano — Plectranthus amboinicus
Cranesbill geranium — Geranium x cantabrigiense
Cyclamen – Cyclamen persicum
Cymbidium orchids – Cymbidium sp.
Gloxina — Sinningia speciosa
Ground orchid – Bletilla striata
Impatiens – Impatiens wallerana, New Guinea – Impatiens hawkerii
Jacobinia, Brazilian Plume – Justicia carnea
Jade plant (and other Crassulas) – Crassula ovata
Jewel orchid (terrestrial) – Ludisia discolor
Johnnny Jump-Ups, Viola – Viola tricolor
Mexican heather — Cuphea hyssopifolia
Pansy — Viola × wittrockiana
Penta – Pentas lanceolata
Pepper and chile plants – Capsicum annum, C. frutescens, C. chinense
Persian shield — Strobilanthes dyeriana
Philippine violet – Barleria cristata
Philodendron — Philodendron Selloum, P. bipinnatifidum, P. hastatum, P. scandens oxycardium
Scaveola, Fan Flower – Scaveola aemula, S. albida, S. taccada
Spider plant — Chlorophytum comosum
Toad lily — Tricyrtis hirta
Torenia, Wishbone Flower – Torenia fournieri
Valerian – Valeriana officinalis

Bulbs:

Alliums: Purple Sensation, Globemaster, Gladiator, Corkscrew (Allium senescens ssp. montanum var. glaucum), Ozawa allium (A. thunbergii ‘Ozawa’), Schubert allium (A. schubertii), Drumstick allium (A. sphaerocephalon), Yellow allium (A. flavum)
Cardamom – Eletteria repens
Clivia / Kaffir lily – Clivia miniata
Crocus – Crocus vernus
Daffodils — Narcissus spp.
Daylily – Hemerocallis sp., var., cv.
Elephant ear / taro — Colocasia esculenta (minute hairs on leaf surface)/Alocasia macrorrhiza (smooth leaf)

Gingers:

Shell ginger – Alpina zerumbet
Variegated ginger – Alpina zerumbet ‘Variegata’

Grape hyacinth — Muscari spp.
Hosta – Hosta sp.
Oxblood lily/schoolhouse lily – Rhodophiala bifida
Paper whites — Narcissus papyraceus
Spider lily – Hymenocallis liriosme
Star lily — Anthericum saundersiae
Summer snowflakes — Leucojum aestivum
Surprise Lily, Red Spider Lily — Lycoris radiata
Star of Bethlehem — Campanula isophylla
Veltheimia, Forest Lily, S. African Cape Hyacinth – Veltheimia bracteata
Wood sorrel – Oxalis acetosella

Ornamental Grasses:

Black mondo grass — Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’
Blue Magellan Wheatgrass — Elymus magellanicum (Agropyron m.)
Blue moor grass — Sesleria caerulea
Blue-green moor grass — Sesleria heufleriana
Bowles Golden Grass — Millium effusum ‘Aureum’
Feather reed grass — Calmagrostis sp.
Golden foxtail grass — Alopecurus prat. ‘Aureovariegatus’
Japanese forest grass, Hakone grass — Hakonechloa macra‘Aureola’
Moor grass — Molina sp.
Oriental fountain grass — Pennisetum orientale
Prairie June grass — Koeleria pyramidata cristata
Silver spike grass — Achnatherum calamagrostis
Tufted hair grass — Deschampsia cespitosa
Woodrush — Luzula sp.

Grasses and Grass-like:
Aztec grass – Liriope muscari ‘Aztec Grass’
Blue beargrass – Nolina nelsonii
Inland sea oats– Chasmanthium latifolium (will seed-out and become dominant if you let it)
Lily Turf: standard, giant – Liriope muscari
Horsetail Reed — Equisetum hyemale
Melic grass – Melica nitens
Monkey grass — Ophiopogon japonicus
Nimblewill Muhly grass – Muhlenbergia schreberi
Sacahuista, Basket Grass — Nolina texana
Palm grass – Setaria palmifolia
Sedges, asstd:

Berkeley sedge — C. divulsa
Blue sedge — C. glauca
California meadow sedge — C. pansa
Cherokee sedge — Carex cherokeensis
Malibu sedge — C. praegracilis
Meadow sedge — C. perdentata
Scott’s sedge — C. sp.
Umbrella sedge — Cyperus involucratus
Variegated Japanese sedge — C. morrowii aurea-variegata
Etc.

Umbrella grass – Cyperus alternifolius
Variegated flax lily – Dianella tasmanica ‘Variegata’
Zoysia grass – Zoysia matrella

Succulents:

Annual succulents:
Aeonium decorum ‘Kiwi’
Cub’s paw — Cotyledon tomentosa
Euphorbia ingens monstrose
Baseball plant — Euphorbia obesa
Good luck tree — Euphorbia trigonus
Ruby good luck tree — Euphorbia trigonus var. ruby
Tiger jaws — Faucaria tigrina
Gasteria – most species
Zebra haworthia — Haworthia attenuata
Star window plant — Haworthia cuspidata
Chocolate soldier — Kalanchoe tomentosa
Panda ears — Kalanchoe tomentosa
Living rocks — Lithop spp.
Mimicry plant — Pleiospilos bolusii
Elephant bush, Money bush — Portulacaria afra
Spear head — Senecio kleiniformis


Perennial succulents:
Almost all of the agave, aloe, hesperaloe species and many yuccas are tolerant of some degree of shade, but usually not full, deep shade.
Lion’s Tail Agave — Agave attenuata
Squid agave — Agave bracteosa
Agave mitis – Agave celsii
Agave Desmettiana — Agave desmettiana
Agave lophantha ‘Quadricolor’
False soap aloe – Aloe grandidenata
Soap aloe – Aloe maculosa
Queen of the Night — Cereus greggi (15°)
Manfreda / False Aloe – Manfreda maculosa; ‘Macho Mocha’, Silver Leopard’, etc.
Pine Cone Prickly Pear – Opuntia turpinii
Lady’s Slipper – Pedianthus macrocarpus
Mother in law’s tongue — Sansevieria trifasciata
Palmer’s sedum – Sedum palmeri
Spanish Bayonet — Yucca gloriosa
Twisted leaf yucca – Yucca rupicola
Yuccas:

Soft tip — Yucca elephantipes
Adam’s Needle – Yucca filimentosa
Red, Yellow, ‘Brake Lights’ – Hesperaloe parviflora
Blue Twistleaf — Yucca rupicola x Pallida
Twistleaf – Yucca rupicola


Vines:

Asian Jasmine — Trachelospermum asiaticum
Carolina Jessamine – Gelsemium sempervirens
Confederate Jasmine — Trachelospermum jasminoides
Creeping fig vine – Ficus pumila
Crossvine — Bignonia capreolata
English Ivy — Hedera helix
Evergreen clematis – Clematis armandii
Fatshedera / Aralia ivy — Fatshedera (X) lizei
Lady Banks rose – Rosa banksiae
Lindheimer’s morning glory – Ipomoea lindheimeri
Honeysuckle — Lonicera sempervirens
Scarlet clematis – Clematis texensis
Scarlet-fruit passionflower – Passiflora foetida
Snapdragon vine – Maurendella antirrhiniflora
Virginia creeper — Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Roses:
All roses bloom best with the most sun possible, usually a minimum of 6 hours is recommended. If a rose must get shade, the best shade is afternoon shade, where it is shielded from the Texas sun in the hottest part of the day. They also need good air circulation, which is often reduced in shaded areas. Shade puts stress on a rose, so all other growth factors should be optimum: food, water, etc. Some varieties can handle less light:

Medium shade:

Chuckles
Gartendirecktor Otto Linne
New Face
Lyda Rose
White Pet

Light shade:
Abigail Adams
Autumn Delight
Ballerina
Blush Noisette
Bouquet Parfait
Caldwell Pink
Cecile Brunner
Confetti
Danae
Darlow’s Enigma
Echo
Ellen Poulsen
Excellenz von Schubert
Felicia
Knockout series (can handle partial shade, really tough and prolific)
Marie Pavie
Marmalade Skies
Mme Alfred Carriere
Moonlight
Old Blush
Pax
Penelope
Passionate Kisses
Playboy
Robert’s Wondrous Ruthie
Robin Hood
Seafoam
Zephrine Drouhin

Shrubs:
Agarita – Mahonia trifoliolata
Althea / Rose of Sharon – Hibiscus syriacus
Barbados cherry: standard and dwarf – Malphigia glabra, M. emarginata
Beautyberry – Calicarpa americana
Bush honeysuckle – Diervilla sessilifolia
Carolina buckthorn – Frangula caroliniana (Rhamus carolianiana)
Cherry laurel — Prunus laurocerasus; P. laurocerasus cv.’Bright and Tight’
Cleyera — Ternstroemia gymnanthera
Coralberry – Symphoricarpus orbiculatus
Cycads:

Bamboo cycad – Ceratozamia hildae (15°F)
Von Kuester’s Horncone — Ceratozamia kuesteriana (18°F)
Wide-leaf Cycad — Ceratozamia latifolia (18°F)
Costilla de León Cycad — Ceratozamia robusta (15°F)
Sichuan cycad — Cycas panzhihuaensis (15°F or less)
Sago palm – Cycas revoluta (15°F)
Emperor cycad – Cycas taittungensis (15°F)
Cardboard palm – Dioon edule (15°F)
Zululand Cycad — Encephalartos ferox (26°F)
Cardboard palm – Zamia furfuraceae (20°F)

Dwarf pomegranate – Punica granatum ‘Nana’
Evergreen sumac — Rhus virens

Hollies:

Dwarf Burford Holly — Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii Nana’
Dwarf Chinese Holly — Ilex cornuta ‘Rotunda’
Dwarf yaupon – Ilex vomitoria ‘Nana’
Carissa Holly — Ilex cornuta ‘Carissa’
Nellie R. Stevens Holly — Ilex cornuta ‘Nellie R. Stevens’
Yaupon Holly — Ilex vomitoria

Indian hawthorn – Raphiolepis indica
Japanese barberry – Berberis thunbergii
Japanese Buttonbush – Adina rubella
Kidneywood — Eysenhardtia texana
Mahonia – Mahonia aquifolium
Mockorange – Philadelphus texensis
Myrtle, Sweet – Myrtus communis
Myrtle, Dwarf sweet – Myrtus communis compacta
Nandina (heavenly Bamboo) – Nandina domestica; ‘Compacta’ — N. domestica nana
Palmetto – Sabal minor
Pineapple guava – Acca sellowiana (Feijoa sellowiana)
Pink indigo bush — Indigofera kirilowii
Pittosporum — Pittosporum tobirum or tenuifolium
Possumhaw – Ilex decidua
Pyracantha – Pyracantha coccinea
Red buckeye – Aesculus pavia
Rusty blackhaw viburnum – Viburnum rudifolium
Silver bush germander – Teucrium fruiticans
Spirea – Spirea japonica, S. x bumalda, S. x cinerea, S. nipponica, S. x vanhouteii
Virginia sweetspire – Itea virginica

Yaupon hollies:

Bordeaux Dwarf Yaupon Holly — Ilex vomitoria ‘Condeaux’
Stoke’s Dwarf Yaupon Holly — Ilex vomitoria ‘Stoke’s Dwarf’
Dwarf Yaupon Holly ‘Nana’ — Ilex vomitoria ‘Nana’
Aureo Yaupon Holly — Ilex vomitoria ‘Aureo’
Weeping Yaupon Holly — Ilex vomitoria ‘Pendula’
Upright Yaupon Holly — Ilex vomitoria ‘Will Fleming’

Plum yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonii ‘Prostrata’
Shiny Xylosma – Xylosma congestum
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow — Brunfelsia grandiflora

Trees:

Cedar elm – Ulmus crassifolia
Escarpment black cherry – Prunus serotina var. exima
Eve’s necklace – Styphnolobium affine
Fan palm:

European — Chamaerops humilis
Mexican – Washingtonia robusta

Japanese maple – Acer palmatum
Madrone — Arbutus xalapensis
Mexican buckeye – Ungnadia speciosa

Oaks:

Texas red oak – Quercus buckleyi
Lacey oak – Quercus laceyi
Chinquapin oak – Quercus muhlenbergii

Persimmon, Oriental – Diospyros kaki sp.
Redbud – Cercis canadensis var. texensis
Rough leaf dogwood — Cornus drummondii
Star magnolia – Magnolia stellata
Texas mountain laurel – Sophora secundiflora
Texas persimmon – Diospyros texana

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