Five shade-preferring non-natives
Sweetbox (Sarcococca hookeriana). A glossy, broad-leaf evergreen that produces small, fragrant, white flowers in early spring. 2 feet tall, 3 to 4 feet wide. (Hardy only to Zone 6.)
Japanese plum yew ‘Duke Gardens’ or ‘Prostrata’ (Cephalotaxus harringtonia). Horizontally growing varieties of green, soft-needled evergreens that deer don’t like. 3 feet tall, 5 feet wide. (Hardy only to Zone 6.)
Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra). A clumping, arching ornamental grass that comes in green, gold, and green-and-gold variegated versions. 2 feet tall, 30 inches wide.
Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis and hybrids). A deer-resistant, glossy-leafed, mounding perennial with large, hanging, bell-shaped flowers of white, rose, pink, or lavender in very early spring. 18 to 24 inches tall, 24 to 30 inches wide.
Liriope (Liriope muscari). A grassy perennial with spiky late-summer lavender flowers that’s one of the best performers in dry shade under trees. 15 to 18 inches tall, 24 to 30 inches wide.
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