Top 10 shade plants
Bugbane is a valuable shade plant because it offers a couple of features most shade plants don't: good height and a late bloom season. It produces dense spikes of white flowers in summer and autumn. The only drawback is the blooms of some species and varieties have an unpleasant scent.
'Brunette' and 'Hillside Black Beauty' are two relatively new, outstanding selections that offer purple foliage and white flowers. They grow 2 to 4 feet tall and help add drama to a shade garden even when not in bloom.
Growing: Most of the commonly available bugbanes (Cimicifuga spp.) are hardy in Zones 4-8. Height differs by variety. Some reach only 3 feet tall, but others can grow as tall as 7 feet.
Tip: Plant taller bugbane varieties around the edges of your shade garden to help the garden feel more intimate.
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