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Full Shade Flowers, Full Shade Plants, Full Shade Annuals,  Full Shade Perennials, Full Shade Bulbs, Full Shade Borders, Full Shade Garden Ideas

Full Shade

Full Shade: no more than 3 hours of direct sunlight every day!

Determining how much sun or shade your garden receives is key when deciding to plant a new flowerbed or purchase plants. Some plants prefer full sun while others thrive in partial shade or even full shade. Full Shade is defined as a maximum of 3 hours of direct sunlight every day. There are plenty of beautiful perennials, annuals or shrubs to choose from that will thrive in these conditions such as begonia, camellia, hydrangea, hosta, geranium, iris ensata, ivy, vinca or ferns.


Full Shade Guides


Abies amabilis 'Spreading Star' (Pacific Silver Fir)

Abies amabilis ‘Spreading Star’ is a low-growing, evergreen conifer forming a widely spreading mound adorned with thick, overlapping, horizontal to arching branches clothed in a lush foliage of fluffy, green, long needles with silvery undersides. Slow-growing, 3-4 in. per year (7-10 cm), this Pacific Silver Fir is a great choice for small gardens or rockeries.

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Acorus calamus 'Variegatus' (Variegated Sweet Flag)

Ideal for wet areas, Acorus calamus 'Variegatus' (Variegated Sweet Flag) is an attractive herbaceous perennial forming a tuft of gracefully arching, narrow, sword-shaped leaves adorned with creamy-white and green stripes. Often displaying a nice pink tinge in cold weather, the foliage is sweetly fragrant when bruised.

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Acorus gramineus 'Ogon' (Golden Variegated Sweet Flag)

Ideal for wet areas, Acorus gramineus 'Ogon' (Golden Variegated Sweet Flag) is a semi-evergreen herbaceous perennial forming an attractive tuft of gracefully arching, narrow, sword-shaped, golden-yellow leaves adorned with olive green stripes. The foliage is sweetly fragrant when bruised and evergreen in mild winter areas.

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Actaea pachypoda (White Baneberry)

Perfect for shade gardens, Actaea pachypoda (White Baneberry) is an herbaceous perennial forming clumps of finely divided, bright green foliage, enhanced by dense, globular clusters of small fluffy white flowers in late spring and early summer.

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Actaea racemosa (Black Cohosh)

Striking all summer long, award-winning Actaea racemosa (Black Cohosh) is a beautiful perennial with deep green, finely divided foliage, enhanced by gracefully arching wands of fragrant white flowers in late summer and fall. The blooms are packed in fluffy spikes, up to 2 ft. long (60 cm), which rise well above the foliage, and mature into attractive seed pods.

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Actaea simplex 'Pink Spike' (Baneberry)

Striking all summer long, Actaea simplex 'Pink Spike' (Baneberry) is a beautiful perennial with chocolate-purple, finely divided foliage, enhanced by gracefully arching wands of fragrant pink flowers in late summer and fall. Raspberry-pink in bud, opening to pale pink, the heavily scented flowers are packed in fluffy spikes along black waving stems.

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Actaea simplex (Atropurpurea Group) 'Black Negligee' (Baneberry)

Rich of an exotic perfume of grape and jasmine, Actaea simplex 'Black Negligee' (Baneberry) is a herbaceous perennial prized for its finely-divided, near-black leaves and eye-catching flower spikes. Standing out in late summer to early fall, attractive, dark stemmed fluffy spires, packed with deliciously fragrant creamy-white flowers adorned with a purple tinge, gracefully bob and sway in the breeze.

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Actaea simplex (Atropurpurea Group) 'Brunette' (Baneberry)

Striking all summer long, award-winning Actaea simplex 'Brunette' (Baneberry) is a beautiful perennial with purple black, finely divided foliage, enhanced by gracefully arching wands of fragrant white flowers in late summer and fall. Purple-pink in bud, opening to white, the heavily scented flowers are packed in fluffy spikes along black waving stems. 'Brunette' provides interest for months.

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Actaea simplex (Atropurpurea Group) 'Hillside Black Beauty' (Baneberry)

Striking all summer long, award-winning Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty' (Baneberry) is a beautiful perennial with dark reddish-purple, finely divided foliage, enhanced by gracefully arching wands of scented, pale pink flowers in late summer and fall. Their strong fragrance is reminiscent of summer phlox and ripe purple grapes.

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Actaea simplex (Atropurpurea Group) 'James Compton' (Baneberry)

Opening from pink buds in late summer to early fall, attractive, purple stemmed fluffy spires, packed with deliciously fragrant white flowers with a pink tinge, gracefully bob and sway in the breeze

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Actaea simplex (Atropurpurea Group) 'Mountain Wave' (Baneberry)

Actaea simplex 'Mountain Wave' (Baneberry) is a herbaceous perennial prized for its finely-divided, bronze leaves and eye-catching flower spikes. Standing out in late summer to early fall, attractive, dark stemmed fluffy spires, packed with deliciously fragrant creamy-white flowers adorned with a purple tinge, gracefully bob and sway in the breeze.

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Actaea simplex (Bugbane)

Fabulous at adding architectural height and late summer blooms to a shaded border, Actaea Simplex (Bugbane), formerly known as Cimicifuga Simplex, is very eye-catching with its long, fluffy spires packed with strongly fragrant, tiny starry creamy-white flowers.

Adiantum aleuticum (Maidenhair Fern)

Incredibly attractive, Adiantum aleuticum (Maidenhair Fern) is a deciduous or semi-evergreen, perennial fern with graceful, bright green fronds which open like the fingers of a hand atop upright, shiny, purple-black wiry stems. Each finger is further divided into a series of triangular segments (pinnules).

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Adiantum raddianum (Delta Maidenhair)

Elegant and fast growing, Adiantum raddianum (Delta Maidenhair) is a tufted evergreen fern with smooth, purplish-black stalks bearing triangular, 3-pinnate, lacy fronds composed of rounded, fan-shaped segments. Emerging light green, they darken with age and can reach 18 in. in length (45 cm). Popular as houseplant, it is long lived if it receives sufficient humidity and is not exposed to drafts.

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Adiantum venustum (Himalayan Maidenhair)

Incredibly attractive, Adiantum venustum (Himalayan Maidenhair) is a deciduous fern, almost evergreen in mild areas, with broadly triangular fronds composed of many small fan-shaped segments. Emerging in late winter to early spring, the new fronds display a charming salmon flush before maturing to fresh spring green.

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Aesculus parviflora (Bottlebrush Buckeye)

One of the best summer-flowering shrubs for shade areas, multiple award-winner Aesculus parviflora (Bottlebrush Buckeye) is prized for its spectacular blooms of erect white flower panicles with red anthers and pinkish filaments.

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Akebia quinata (Chocolate Vine)

Vigorously spreading, Akebia quinata (Chocolate Vine) is a dainty semi-evergreen, twining, woody vine with dangling racemes of small, wine-red flowers with a spicy, chocolate fragrance in spring. The blooms stand out against the bright green foliage of elliptic leaflets which becomes purple flushed in cold weather.

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Anemone nemorosa 'Robinsoniana' (Wood Anemone)

A treasure in the spring garden, award-winning Anemone nemorosa 'Robinsoniana' (Wood Anemone) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial producing masses of star-shaped, single, pale lavender blue flowers, up to 1.5 in. wide (4 cm), adorned with dove-gray on their reverse, and a ring of prominent golden stamens.

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Anemone nemorosa 'Vestal' (Wood Anemone)

Resembling a perfect powder puff, award-winning Anemone nemorosa 'Vestal' (Wood Anemone) is an herbaceous perennial producing a profusion of single, pure white flowers with 6-7 petals surrounding a cute dome-shaped center packed with narrow staminodes.

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Anemone nemorosa (Wood Anemone)

Vigorous, Anemone nemorosa (Wood Anemone) is a dwarf herbaceous perennial producing masses of star-shaped, single, white poppy-like flowers, 1-1.5 in. wide (2-4 cm), sometimes flushed pink or purple on their reverse, and with a ring of prominent golden stamens.

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Anemone sylvestris 'Madonna' (Snowdrop Anemone)

A charming late spring or early summer bloomer, Anemone sylvestris 'Madonna' (Snowdrop Anemone) is an ideal groundcover for partially shaded areas. Fragrant, extra large, cup-shaped, pure white flowers, adorned with a ring of prominent golden stamens, are borne singly on slender stems above the lush, finely cut, dark green foliage.

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Anemone sylvestris (Snowdrop Anemone)

A charming late spring or early summer bloomer, Anemone sylvestris (Snowdrop Anemone) is an ideal groundcover for partially shaded areas. Fragrant, cup-shaped, pure white flowers, 2 in. wide (5 cm), with a ring of prominent golden stamens, are borne singly on bare stems above a deeply, finely cut, dark green foliage

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Arisaema consanguineum (Himalayan Cobra Lily)

Exotic-looking, Arisaema consanguineum (Himalayan Cobra Lily) is a tall tuberous perennial boasting an impressive umbrella-shaped leaf with 11-20 narrow leaflets on a long, robust stem. Emerging in spring to early summer, the foliage resembles a palm tree leaf and remains attractive during the growing season.

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Arisaema sikokianum (Japanese Cobra Lily)

One of the earliest cobra lilies, Arisaema sikokianum (Japanese Cobra Lily) is a tuberous perennial boasting in early spring a large, purple-black spathe, up to 8 in. long (20 cm), surrounding an elegant white club-like spadix protruding from the mouth. The dramatic flowers are perched above the foliage of bright green, divided leaves, sometimes beautifully splashed with silver.

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