Mark A. Miller
(Japanese Spurge, Variegated Japanese Spurge)
One of the best and most widely used evergreen groundcovers for shaded sites, Japanese spurge is a trailing shrub from China and Japan. The leaves of the cultivar 'Variegata' are rimmed with creamy-white. The handsome leaves cluster in large whorls at the end of prostrate stems, forming a dense mat of foliage. Plants spread by underground runners which are less wide-ranging than those of plain-leaved forms. Short frothy spikes of small flowers adorn the stem tips in late spring.
Pentas are tropical plants native to Africa, Arabia and Madagascar. The genus comprises 34 to 40 species of perennials, biennials and shrubs. Most species bear beautiful clusters of colorful flowers and are grown as bedding plants. They are in Rubiaceae, the same plant family as other popular tropicals such as Ixora, Gardenia and Coffee.
Borne in pairs or triads along upright or lax stems, the oval to lance-shaped, evergreen leaves are typically grass green. Domed or flat-topped...
(Cut-leaf Philodendron, Tree Philodendron)
Evoking the exotic lushness of a tropical jungle, cut-leaf philodendron's huge elephant-ear like leaves are impressive. A tree-like evergreen shrub from southern Brazil and Paraguay, it is does not crawl or climb in a vine-like manner, as do most philodendrons. It does grow a tall semi-woody trunk-like stem that often sprawls or twists as the plant ages.
Its immense leaves are its glory. Borne on long stems at the trunk's apex, they are mid- to dark green, glossy and waxy. Each leaf is deeply...
(Cut-leaf Philodendron, Winterbourne Tree Philodendron)
A handsome, small, mounding, tender tropical shrub with lush green foliage, 'Winterbourn' is most commonly referred to as the Xanadu philodendron. Descended from an evergreen species native to southern Brazil and Paraguay, it is considered a "self-heading" philodendron, that is, it does not crawl or climb in a vine-like manner. There is some disagreement as to this cultivar's true origin. Many are convinced it is a hybrid that has the cut-leaf philodendron (P. bipinnatifidum) as merely one...
James H. Schutte
Grown for their handsome evergreen leaves and elegant spring flowers, these small to large shrubs or climbers are native to eastern North America, eastern Asia, and the Caribbean. Closely related to rhododendrons and mountain laurels, they associate well with those and many other acid-loving plants.
Rounded and dense in habit, these plants bear oval, leathery, glossy leaves that retain their dark green color year-round. The new leaves of some Pieris are bronze or scarlet. Upright or...
JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University
An elegant and hardy broadleaf evergreen that offers something for every season, 'Brouwer's Beauty' is a small upright shrub resulting from a cross between Pieris japonica and Pieris floribunda. It provides ample year-round ornament with its arching to upright chains of purplish flower buds in winter, its white urn-shaped flowers in late winter or early spring, and its glossy deep green laurel-like leaves. The flower clusters resemble those of lily of the valley. This relatively...
Mountain pieris is a compact broadleaf evergreen that is covered with beautiful white upright flower sprays in early and mid-spring. The flower buds of this southeastern United States native are light green and are attractive in and of themselves, providing significant winter interest. Once they open, many small urn-shaped flowers hang downward from stem branch tips. The mildly glossy leaves are light green when new and fade to a dull dark green.
Mountain pieris needs a moist, well draining acidic...