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Full shade perennials require less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day, while partial shade plants require 2 to 4 hours. For information on perennials in general, refer to our page on the subject.

Note that, in each list, plants from different climate zones with different growing conditions may be mixed together. If you choose perennials that are not well adapted to your climate zone, they may very well not survive the winter. So before making a final choice on any given plant, always check all its characteristics to ensure it is the right plant for the right place.

Full shade perennials

Full shade perennials that require less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day (don’t forget that these aren’t endives – they do need light) and a soil that is moist but well drained.

Scientific name Common name
Asperula odorata Sweet Woodruff
Athyrium (various varieties) Ferns (various varieties)
Dryopteris (various varieties) Male Fern (various varieties)
Maianthemum racemosum False Salomon’s Seal
Sanguinaria canadensis Bloodroot
Tiarella (various varieties) Foamflower (various varieties)

Partial shade perennials

Partial shade plants that require between 2 and 4 hours of direct sunlight per day and a soil that is moist but well drained.

Scientific name Common name
Actaea rubra Red Baneberry
Aegopodium podagraria variegata Bishop’s Goutweed
Arisaema flavum Jack-In-The-Pulpit
Athyrium (various varieties) Ferns (various varieties)
Brunnera macrophylla (various varieties) Bugloss (various varieties)
Carex (various varieties) Sedge (various varieties)
Caulophyllum thalictroides Blue Cohosh
Chelonopsis yagiharana Japanese Turtlehead
Cimicifuga (various varieties) Snakeroot (various varieties)
Claytonia sibirica Siberian Spring Beauty
Commelina virginica Virginia Dayflower
Cornus canadensis Bunchberry
Cortusa matthioli alba Alpine Bells
Corydalis elata Blue Corydalis
Dryopteris (various varieties) Male Fern (various varieties)
Geranium (various varieties) Cranesbill (various varieties)
Helleborus (various varieties) Christmas Rose (various varieties)
Hosta (various varieties) Plantain Lily (various varieties)
Lamiastrum or lamium (various varieties) Nettle (various varieties)
Ligularia (various varieties) Golden Groundsel (various varieties)
Linnaea borealis Twinflower
Meconopsis (various varieties) Poppies (various varieties)
Mitchella repens Partridgeberry
Omphalodes verna Blue-Eyed Mary
Primula (various varieties) Garden Primrose (various varieties)
Sanguinaria canadensis Bloodroot
Saruma henryi Upright Wild Ginger
Smilacina racemosa False Salomon’s Seal
Streptopus amplexifolius Pink Stretopus
Tiarella (various varieties) Foamflower (various varieties)
Tricyrtis (various varieties) Toad Lily (various varieties)
Vinca minor (various varieties) Periwinkle (various varieties)
Viola (various varieties) Violet (various varieties)
Waldsteinia ternata Barren Strawberry

Consider visiting our Shade plants page, where you will find general information on growing plants in shady locations.

Have you considered all the options available to you? If not, then have a look at our Landscaping plants page.

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