Dry Shade Plants
Our native oakleaf hydrangea, H. quercifolia, is the best all round shrub for shade—everyone should have at least one! Huge, long-lasting, upright pyramids of white flowers bloom from May through July. It has bold-textured leaves with heart-stopping burgundy-red fall color, and cinnamon-colored exfoliating bark—a true four season plant.
Clethra alnifolia -Sixteen Candles- (Summersweet Clethra) (sweet pepper bush) opens white bottlebrush blooms that beckon butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Flowers appear in early summer and linger for six weeks or more. Blooms release a sweet fragrance; leaves turn golden in autumn. Zones: 3-9; grows best in areas with cool summers. Full sun to full shade. Size: 3-8 feet high, 4-6 feet wide.
Sweetbox Great Plant Picks The genus Sarcococca includes a handful of such outstanding evergreen shrubs, there is room for at least one in all but the hottest, sunniest gardens. All are noted for their superb winter fragrance, in January and February. Sarcococca hookeriana var. hookeriana reaches 4 feet high. Sweet box thrives in shade, where its leaf color is deepest green. It tolerates dry conditions once established, making it a good choice for under eaves and in dark, dry locations.