This page lists alphabetically genera or species from A-B recommended for growing in shade by members of the PBS list, sometimes with comments, followed by the name and the location of the person who suggested them, usually from experience growing them. There are links for more information and if we have photos of these plants on the wiki, we have included a few photos to illustrate them on this page.
Alpinia zerumbet was a favorite of Boyce Tankersley when he lived in Galveston, Texas, zone 8.
Amorphophallus konjac has incredible leaves and gives a very tropical feel to my shady border. I'm not confident about leaving it outside for the winter here in the UK, so it gets to enjoy a slightly different spot each year. Comments from Matthew Gale, Birmingham, UK.
Arisaema, both American and Asian, was a popular choice. The deer do not eat this genus and plants provide an interesting, bizarre, unusual, varied selection for the shade. There is incredible variation in leaf forms and the stems are often mottled with intricate patterns of greys, browns, pinks, and greens. Favorites of Judy Glattstein, New Jersey, Matthew Gale, Birmingham, UK, Ernie O'Byrne, Eugene, Oregon, Jim Shields, central Indiana, and Boyce Tankersley for Chicago, Illinois zone 5. The following species were mentioned:
Arisaema candidissimum was suggested by Ernie O'Byrne, Eugene, Oregon.
Arisaema griffithii was suggested by Ernie O'Byrne, Eugene, Oregon.
Arisaema sikokianum would be the first choice of Ernie O'Byrne, Eugene, Oregon if he had to pick, especially the silver leaved forms and when grown in masses. He said, "There is just something about that pure, pristine, white spadix against the very dark spathe that really does it for me." Jim Shields in central Indiana also recommended this species.
Arisaema tortuosum was also suggested by Ernie O'Byrne, Eugene, Oregon.
Arisarum proboscideum was a favorite of Judy Glattstein in New Jersey.
Arum maculatum was a favorite of Jamie Vande, Cologne, Germany Zone 8 who found not two plants were quite alike and it made a beautiful clump when established, dying down early, leaving room for later plants.
Asarum canadense was suggested by someone who grew it in dense shade in Iowa where it spread quickly by rhizomes and seed.
Begonia grandis was a favorite bulb for shade for Boyce Tankersley from his time in St. Louis, Missouri, zone 6. Jamie Vande, Cologne, Germany, wrote that it was a real joy, bulbil-ing itself all around, lending an exotic air with it's wing-like leaves. He wrote, "Does well in my clay and equally well in loose woodland soil. Handles sun, but seems to prefer shade and ambient moisture. Although said to only reach 30-45 cm (12-18"), mine reaches almost 100 cm."