Most broadleaf evergreens perform best with afternoon shade in the winter. Flowering broadleaf shrubs won’t produce flowers in too deep of shade.
Leucothoe fontanesiana ‘Rainbow’
A multi-stemmed, evergreen shrub prized for its gracefully arching red stems clad with glossy, lance-shaped leaves, 4 in. long, marbled cream and pink. Highly ornamental, the lush foliage warms up to an outstanding burgundy in the fall. Attractive choice to pair with rhododendrons. This woodland native thrives in full to partial shade. Blooms in late spring.
A denser, slower growing, more compact, and more symmetrical shrub than the species. It typically grows to 3′ tall and as wide over the first 10 years. Particularly noted for its excellent year round foliage: (a) bright scarlet new growth in spring emerges from deep green foliage clumps, (b) excellent glossy deep green mature summer foliage, (c) burgundy red fall color which extends through winter as bronze to purplish red.
Lily of the Valley Shrub
Height: 4′ Spread 4′
This small, compact evergreen has year-round interest. Pale green winter flower buds contrast well with its dark green foliage. In Spring it is almost completely covered in bell-shaped, creamy white blooms, providing a source of nectar for early-season pollinators such as mason bees. Dwarf lily-of-the-valley shrub makes a beautiful low informal hedge for the shade garden, and it can be used to hide the leggy stems of taller shrubs. It is well adapted to container culture and can grow for several years in a pot.
Flaming Silver Pieris
Height: 3′ Spread: 3′
A very choice variegated selection. Silver-edged foliage is set off by spectacular pinkish-red new growth. White flowers in early spring. Best in partial shade. Compact habit. Flower buds are set in late summer for the following year and provide some winter interest
Forest Flame Pieris
A slow-growing, dense, upright, broadleaf evergreen shrub. Pendulous clusters of lily-of-the-valley-like, white flowers appear in early spring. Leaves appear in whorls with the new foliage emerging flame red and fading to a creamy pink before maturing in summer to a glossy, dark green. Although the flowers are followed by seed capsules which will persist into winter and are considered by some to be attractive, it is generally best to prune off the spent flowers immediately after bloom. Hanging clusters of bead-like, pink flower buds are set in late summer for the following year and provide some winter interest, contrasting well with the evergreen foliage.
‘Katsura’ was selected for its continuous new growth through spring and summer, large glossy leaves that are wine-red in color before turning green with age, and rose-colored flowers. In late spring, blooms cascade over green foliage, and new growth afterward comes in glossy red again.
Mountain Fire Pieris
Height: 6-8′ Spread: 4′
A popular cultivar that is particularly noted for the fiery red color of its newly emerging foliage and its heavy flower clusters. It features large pendulous clusters of lily-of-the-valley-like white flowers in early spring. If spent flowers are not trimmed off after bloom, they are followed by small 5-valved capsules. Glossy evergreen leaves emerge bright red (hence the cultivar name), but mature to glossy dark green. Bead-like flower buds are set in late summer for the following year and provide winter interest and contrast to the evergreen foliage.
Height: 2′ Spread: 2′
A dwarf selection that flowers later than other varieties. Lovely clusters of pure white flowers on short stalks shine against rich, dark green leaves on a densely branched globe shaped form. New foliage emerges with a pinkish tint.
Height: 3-4′ Spread: 3-4′
One of the latest blooming varieties, extending spring in the landscape. Semi-erect clusters of large pure white flowers shine against rich green foliage. Highlights the shade shrub border.
Valley Rose Pieris
Height: 8′ Spread: 8′
‘Valley Rose’ has strikingly beautiful, two-toned flowers. Each tiny, urn-shaped bloom has a deep rose pink cap that fades to blushed white at the tip. The full, profuse flowers gracefully cascade down this shrub, almost hiding the evergreen foliage. As the flowers fade, bronzy new growth add an extra sparkle to the garden.
Valley Valentine Pieris
Height: 4-5′ Spread: 4-5′
‘Valley Valentine’ features large clusters of lily-of-the-valley-like maroon flowers in early spring. Glossy evergreen leaves emerge orange-bronze but mature to glossy dark green. Bead-like flower buds are set in late summer for the following year.
Bracken’s Brown Beauty Magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Bracken’s Brown Beauty’
A compact cultivar that grows with a dense, narrow, pyramdal-oval crown. Leathery evergreen leaves (to 7” long) are glossy dark green above and rusty-brown beneath, lending a bi-color appearance to the foliage. Fragrant, cup-shaped, white flowers (to 4-6” diameter) appear in late spring, with sparse continued flowering throughout the summer. Flowers give way to spherical cone-like fruiting clusters (to 3” long) that mature in late summer, releasing individual rose-red coated seeds suspended on slender threads at maturity.
Edith Bogue Magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Edith Bogue’
‘Edith Bogue’ is a cultivar that is noted for its excellent winter hardiness. Over time, this cultivar will grow to 60’ by 30’ wide. Lemon-scented, white flowers (to 12” diameter) bloom in early summer.
Oregon Grape Holly
Oregon Grape Holly
This is the taller species of the native Oregon Grape, getting to 6′ or more and spreading by underground runners. They look best as a mass planting in a native woodland situation and perform best in shade, but will take some sun.
Compact Oregon Grape Holly
Mahonia aquifolium ‘Compacta’
This variety makes a nice, broad colony. New foliage is glossy and becomes matte with age. This plant always looks good, staying full to the ground and cheering up the dark days of winter with its bronzy red winter color.
Creeping Oregon Grape Holly
This Oregon native has a spreading habit and will get about 2-3′ tall. It will tolerate more sun the the taller Oregon Grape as well as part shade and is very drought tolerant. It’s leaves are usually more matte than the upright Mahonia but get the same yellow flowers and blue fruit. Great choice for mass groundcover or under oaks.
Fraser’s Red Tip Photinia
Photinia x fraseri
Height: 8-12′ Spread: 8-10′
A large, hybrid evergreen shrub often commonly called red tip in celebration of the bronze red to bright red new leaves that emerge at the twig tips each spring. New growth in spring emerges bronze- to copper-red in a showy display lasting about 2-3 weeks. Red leaves gradually change to glossy dark green. Additional pruning may encourage new flushes of red leaves in late spring and summer. Small, white flowers bloom in late April. Fruit is a red pome that persists throughout winter to spring.
Dynamo Red Photinia
Photinia glabra ‘Parsur’ PP#19390
Height: 10′ Spread: 7′
Rapid upright growth of 3 to 5′ per year and a dense self-branching habit, makes Dynamo Red a great shrub in the landscape. Bright red new growth adds color to the landscape for this durable, heat and drought-tolerant plant.
Rhododendrons have long been mainstays of late spring because of their spectacular clusters of showy blooms—plus, large green leaves that often stay green through winter. Oaks and pines are the most commonly mentioned companions for this beautiful shrub. They provide a high canopy of filtered shade while still providing the high degree of light intensity necessary for growth. Good soil drainage is essential (plants do not like “wet feet”).
Rhododendron x ‘Anah Kruschke’
It has widely funnel-shaped, 3 in. wide flowers that are reddish-purple with a deep purplish-red blotch. ‘Anah Kruschke’ is a rounded, well-branched shrub that grows 3 to 5 ft. tall and 3 to 4 ft. wide.
Rhododendron x ‘Baden Baden’
This compact broadleaf evergreen shrub is draped in stunning clusters of red trumpet-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches in mid spring. It has attractive green foliage. The twisted pointy leaves are highly ornamental and remain green throughout the winter.
Rhododendron x ‘Cosmopolitan’
“Cosmopolitan” brightens up every garden with its clear pink trusses of large flowers with deep purple dotted throats. Leaves are large, too, and glossy, very attractive all year round. It flowers as one of the first.
Rhododendron x ‘Cunningham’s White‘
An elegant variety covered in stunning clusters of lightly-scented white trumpet-shaped flowers with a coppery-bronze blotch at the ends of the branches in mid spring. It has dark green foliage. The narrow leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. Grows to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet.
Rhododendron ‘English Roseum’
A dense, mound-forming, evergreen that typically grows to a mature height of 4-10′ tall and 5-11′ wide. It features large trusses of light rose-lilac flowers in spring (mid-season). Elliptic to oblong leathery dark green leaves (3-6” long) are evergreen.
Rhododendron x ‘Firestorm‘
Rich bright red wavy edge blossoms are over 3 inches across held in large dome shaped clusters. Blooms mid-May. New leaves are lime green deepening to dark green with lighter midribs. Prefers acidic soils.
Rhododendron x ‘Henry’s Red’
A showy broadleaf evergreen shrub covered in stunning clusters of lightly-scented ruby-red trumpet-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches in mid spring. It has dark green foliage. The narrow leaves turn an outstanding purple in the fall. Grows to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet
Lee’s Dark Purple
Rhododendron x ‘Lee’s Dark Purple’
Erect, compactly branched broad mound. From very dark purple buds dense trusses of violet-purple flowers enhanced by brownish blotches, late in the season. Partial sun. Moderate grower to 6 feet high, 6 to 8 feet wide.
Few April sights reenergize our winter-worn malaise so effectively as those brilliant lavender-pink splashes that proclaim SPRING HAS ARRIVED! Perhaps even more important than its flowers are its extreme adaptability, hardiness and year round appeal. Rhododendron ‘PJM’ blooms reliably in virtually any shady garden. It is considered one of the hardiest rhododendrons worldwide. Distinctively aromatic green foliage changes with the onset of autumn’s colder weather to an intense, lustrous dark mahogany, becoming verdant again as it drops its flowers in spring. Grows 3-4′ tall & wide.
Rhododendron x ‘Purple Gem’
Dense-growing, dwarf shrub valued for its purplish-blue flowers and azalea-like foliage. Some protection from winter wind is helpful. Partial sun. Slow-growing to 2 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide.
Rhododendron x ‘Ramapo’
Very dwarf compact habit. Trusses of showy pale violet flowers offer beautiful contrast to the leaves. Partial sun. Moderate growing to 3 ft. tall, 4 ft. wide, globe shaped.
Rhododendron x ‘Rocket
Showy frilled deep coral-pink with scarlet blotched flowers in cone-shaped trusses. Flowers offer beautiful contrast to the dark green medium-sized, thick and heavily veined foliage. Partial sun. Moderate-growing to 4 to 6 feet tall and wide.
Rhododendron x ‘Scarlet Wonder’
Low, exceptionally compact shrub has outstanding appearance. Showy deep scarlet-red flowers are backed by interesting tiny green quilted leaves. Partial sun. Slow-growing mound to 2 feet high.
Rhododendron x ‘Scintillation’
Large trusses of showy soft pink flowers bloom heavily in spring. Dense habit and smaller size make this a versatile evergreen shrub. Use in protected beds and borders as background to add early spring color before perennials rise. Grows best in acidic soils with even moisture. Partial sun. Moderate growth to 5 feet tall and wide.