Perennials are mostly deciduous plants without woody stems that die back to the ground in cold months, but then renew themselves completely in the spring. Most are chosen for their flowers, but some are more useful for their beautiful foliage. Some perennials are evergreen, or nearly so, and it’s interesting that most with this characteristic are for sun rather than shade.

For SUNNIER Situations

[table caption=”” width=”600″ colwidth=”180|180|20″ colalign=”left|left|left”] Botanical Name,Common Name,Attributes*
,,
Achillea millefolium,Yarrow,”D,E,S,F,Fg”
Agapanthus praecox spp.,Lily of the Nile,”E,S,F,Fg”
Allium,Flowering Onion,”D,F,Fg”
Anemone japonica,Japanese Anemone,”D,F,Fg,Ft”
Artemisia stelleriana,Wormwood,”E,F”
Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’,Feather Reed Grass,”E,F”
Calendula officinalis,Pot Marigold,”D,F”
Canna,Canna,”D,B,F,Ft”
Carex testacea,Orange Sedge,”E,F”
Coreopsis auriculata ‘Nana’,Dwarf Tickseed,”D,F,Ft”
Crocosmia spp.,Monbretia,”D,B,F,Ft”
Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Northern Lights’,Tufted Hair Grass,”E,F”
Dianthus armeria,Pinks,”D,F,Fg,Ft”
Echinacea purpurea,Cone Flower,”D,F,Ft”
Eucomis comosa,Pineapple Lily,”D,B,F,Ft”
Festuca idahoensis ‘Siskiyou Blue’,Siskiyou Blue Idaho Fescue,”E,F”
Fuchsia (hardy),Hardy Fuchsia,”D,F”
Gaillardia aristata,Blanket Flower,”D,F,Ft”
Geum coccineum,Avena,”E,F,Ft”
Helictotrichon sempervirens,Blue Oat Grass,”E,F,Ft”
Hemerocallis ‘Stella d’Oro’,Stella d’Oro Daylily,”D,B,F,Ft”
Heuchera spp.,”Coral Bells, Alum Root”,”E,S,F”
Iberis,Candytuft,”E,F,Fg”
Iris siberica,Siberian Iris,”D,B,F,Ft”
Liatris spicata,Blazing Star,”D,B,F,Ft”
Libertia peregrinans,New Zealand Iris,”E,B,F,Fg,Ft”
Lilium spp.,Lily,”D,B,F,Fg,Ft”
Oreganum seundermannii,Ornamental Oregano,”E,F,Fg”
Oreganum vulgare ‘Aureum’,Golden Oregano,”E,F,Fg”
Paeonia spp.,Peony,”D,B,F,Fg,Ft”
Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’,Dwarf Fountain Grass,”D,F”
Pennisetum alop. ‘Burgundy Bunny’ ,Burgundy Bunny Fountain Grass,”D,F”
Penstemon davidsonii,Davidson’s Penstemon,”E,N,F”
Penstemon fruticosus,Shrubby Penstemon,”E,F”
Perovskia,Russian Sage,”D,F,Fg”
Phormium,New Zealand Flax,E
Salvia greggii,Autumn Sage,”E,F,Fg”
Salvia microphylla,Baby Sage,”E,F,Fg”
Salvia nemorosa spp.,Perennial Sage,”D,F,Fg”
Schizachrynium scoparium,Little Bluestem,”D,F”
Sedum spp.,Tall or Upright Stonecrop,”D,E,F”
[/table] *Attribute Codes: D=Deciduous; E=Evergreen; S=Semi-evergreen; N=Native; B=Bulb; F=Flowers; Fg=Fragrance; Ft=Fruit

For SHADIER Situations

[table caption=”” width=”600″ colwidth=”180|180|20″ colalign=”left|left|left”] Botanical Name,Common Name,Attributes*
,,
Adiantum aleuticum,Maidenhair Fern,”D,N”
Adiantum venustum,Himalayan Maidenhair Fern,E
Alstroemeria,Peruvian Lily,”D,F”
Astilbe,False Spirea,”D,B,F,Fg”
Astrantia major,Masterwort,”D,B,F,Fg”
Athyrim niponicum ‘Pictum’,Japanese Painted Fern,D
Blechnum spicant,Deer Fern,”E,N”
Brunnera macrophylla,Siberian Bugloss,”D,F”
Dicentra spp.,Bleeding Heart,”D,B,F”
Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’,Golden Japanese Forest Grass,D
Hakonechloa macra  ‘Fubuki’,Fubuki Japanese Forest Grass,D
Helleborus spp.,Lenten Rose,”D,E,F”
Hosta spp.,Hosta,”D,B,F”
Liriope muscari variegata,Variegated Lily Turf (Mondo Grass),”E,F,Fg,Ft”
Polygonatum odoratum variegatum,Variegated Solomon’s Seal,”D,F,Fg,Ft”
Polystichum munitum,Sword Fern,”E,N”
Polytricum commune ,Common Haircap Moss,”E,N”
Tricyrtis formosana ,Toad Lily,”D,B,F,Ft”
[/table] *Attribute Codes: D=Deciduous; E=Evergreen; S=Semi-evergreen; N=Native; B=Bulb; F=Flowers; Fg=Fragrance; Ft=Fruit

For information on understanding and using these plant lists see The Guide.