Winter Perennials

blue spruce sedum sedum rupestreWinter can impose a real lull in the garden’s show. But here are some perennials that dress things up a bit with their interesting evergreen foliage:

Cyclamen hederifolium (Zones 4–8): leaves emerge in fall and disappear in spring. In between, they form a low mat of two-tone green leaves.

Little brown jug (Asarum arifolium; Zones 5–9): silver-marked dark green leaves can be 6 inches across. Prefers damp shade.

Broadleaf toothwort
(Cardamine diphylla; Zones 4–8): 3-lobed leaves are dark green with white veins on top and purplish underneath. Appears in fall and goes dormant in spring.

Evergreen ferns: try Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides; Zones 4–9); marginal shield fern (Dryopteris marginalis; Zones 3–8); autumn fern (D. erythrosora; Zones 5–8); holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum; Zones 6–10); variegated shield fern (Arachniodes simplicior; Zones 6–9).

Rue anenome (Anemonella thalictroides; Zones 4–8): forms a low cover of bright green, delicate-looking leaves in winter.

Blue spruce sedum (Sedum rupestre; Zones 5–9): groundcover for sun or shade, with succulent needle-like leaves.

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3 thoughts on “Winter Perennials

  1. Add these two as well: Arum italicum– beautiful variegated foliage with interesting jack-in-the-pulpit-like flowers and red seed pods. Only appears in fall and stays through winter! Also, my favorite the beautiful helleborus species. Flowers late winter. Tough, deer-resistant foliage.

  2. Tracy,

    I’m a landscape designer and have referred, or given out your book for years. I just wish you would make a small, consise field manual out of water proof stock to take to he garden.

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