From the talk by Colin Moat called “50 Greys of Shade” here is his list of plants for shady places:

Top 10(ish) Bulbs/Corms/Roots

  1. Narcissus ‘Jenny’/ ‘Jumblie’ / ‘Pippit’
  2. Lilly’s Cardiocrinum/Martagon/Nectaroscordum
  3. Galanthus + Leucojum
  4. Eranthis hyamelis
  5. Cyclamen hederifolium & coum
  6. Arum italicum marmoratum
  7. Anemone nemerosa (& blanda)
  8. Erythronium cans denis/ tuolomnense ‘White Beauty’ + ‘Pagoda’
  9. Fritillaria meleagris
  10. Trillium erectum/chloropetalum/vaseyi/cuneatum/luteum/grandiflorum/pusillum + Arisaema + Colchicum + Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Bluebells)

Top 10 Ground Cover Plants

  1. Geranium (includes magnifica/nodosum/macrorrhyzum/phaeum/pratense)
  2. Bergenia ciliata + ‘Overture’
  3. Epimedium ‘Orangkonigen’ + fargesii + versicolor + sulpureum + grandiflorum + warleyense + ‘Pink Champagne’ + ‘Amber Queen’
  4. Ajuga ‘Burgundy Glow’ + ‘Catlin’s Giant’ + ‘Purple Torch’
  5. Ompholodes verna + ‘Starry Eyes’ + ‘Cherry Ingram’
  6. Brunnera maculatum ‘Jack Frost’ + ‘Looking Glass’ + ‘Mr Morse’
  7. Pulmonaria ‘Ice Ballet’ + ‘Cotton Cool’ + ‘Diana Clare’ + ‘Stillingfleet Meg’ + ‘Dora Beilefeld’
  8. Vinca minor ‘Illumination’
  9. Hosta ‘June’ + ‘Blue Moon + ‘Junco’
  10. Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ + ‘Venus’ + Tiarella + Heucherella

Top 10 Stars/Bombproof/Long Interest (Spot the deliberate error!)

  1. Helleborus x hybridus + foetidus + argutifolius
  2. Convallaria majalis + rosea + ‘Vic Powlowski’s Gold + ‘Bordeaux’
  3. Polygonatum x hybridum + ‘Betburg’
  4. Aquilegia various hybrids
  5. Euphorbia amygdaloides var.robbiae + dulcis ‘Chameleon’ + griffithii ‘Dixter’
  6. Astrantia major ‘Shaggy’ + Star of Fire’ + ‘Roma’ + ‘Venus’
  7. Digitalis purpurea ‘Anne Redetzky’ + lanata + lutea + ferruginea + mertonensis
  8. Lamium maculatum ‘White Nancy’ + ‘Pink Pearls’ + orvala + orvala ‘Album’
  9. Viola cornuta + odorata + ‘Hearthrob’ + ‘Duchesse de Parma’
  10. Anemone hup ‘Honorine de Jobert’ + ‘Richard Ahrens’ + ‘Bodnant Burgundy’ + ‘Konigen Charlotte’
  11. Tradescantia ‘Osprey’ + ‘Bilberry Ice’

Needing more care and attention/conditions/specialist

  1. (Moister shade) Ferns Athyrium niponium pictum + ‘Silver Falls’ + ‘Lady in Red’ + Adiantum (Dryer shade) Polystichum+ Dryopteris (Most areas)  Asplenium
  2. Actaea ‘White Pearl’ + ‘Brunette’ + ‘Cheju do’
  3. Aconitum carmichaelii arundsii + ‘Ivorine’
  4. Dicentra spectabalis + ‘Alba’ + formosa ‘Baccanahal’ + ‘Filigree’ + ‘Stuart Boothman’
  5. Maianthemum racemosa
  6. Angelica archangelica + gigas + sylvestris ‘Vicars Mead’ / Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’
  7. Thalictrum aquilefolium + delavayi
  8. Rodgersia  pinnata + Podophylla
  9. Meconopsis cambrica + (orange form)
  10. Podophyllum peltatum + hexandrum + pleianthemum + ‘Spotty Dotty’ + ‘Kaleidoscope’
  11. Tiarella ‘Iron Butterfly’ + ‘Inkblot’
  12. Millium effusum aureum + Luzula sylvatica
  13. Silene fimbriata

Others

  • Lunaria rediva
  • Eupatorium
  • Persicaria
  • Astilbe
  • Cardamine
  • Hepatica
  • Iris ‘Pacific Coast Hyb’ + sibirica
  • Liriope
  • Ophiopogon planiscapum nigrescens
  • Primula (some)
  • Roscoea
  • Tricyrtis
  • Some Campanula
  • Gallium odoratum (sweet woodruff) great for very dry shade

Colin Moat is from Pineview Plants. You can contact him by emailing colin@pineviewplants.co.uk or through his website www.pineviewplants.co.uk, you can ‘Like’ Pineview Plants on Facebook or you can follow @colinmoat1 on Twitter.

If you would like to download this list as a PDF file, you can do that here.