Primula japonica ‘Apple Blossom’ – A vigorous selection of Japanese Primrose with successive whorls of pale pink flowers, each accented with a red (fading to orange-red) eye – usually blooming from May to June. It thrives in partial shade (tolerates some sun in coastal BC) and moist soils. The bright green leaves form a dense basal tuft. Grows 15-20″ high by 10-12″ wide. Z5.
Astrantia major subsp. involucrata ‘Shaggy’ (syn. ‘Margery Fish’) – Another woodlander that probably does best in partial shade and even tolerates some sun in coastal BC. ‘Shaggy’ bears white flowers (with a hint of pink) surrounded by green-tipped bracts from June to August. It is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and good cut flower. Grows 24-30″ high by 24″ wide. Z4.
Cyclamen repandum – This native of Italy, Greece, the former Yugoslavia and southern France features fragrant upward-sweeping pale pink to bright rose flowers from mid to late spring. These are borne over interesting green heart-shaped leaves with contrasting silver highlights and undulating edges. Naturalizes to form a shade groundcover. Grows 4-6″ high by 6-9″ wide. Z7.
Tiarella cordifolia ‘Running Tapestry’ – This Foamflower has a running growth habit when grown in organic, moisture-retentive soils. It bears airy white (occasionally pink tinted) blooms in spring over dense mounds of bright green leaves accented with burgundy blotches around the veins. Semi-evergreen in milder climates. Grows 8-12″ high by 18-24″ wide. Hardy to zone 4.
Polygonatum odoratum ‘Silver Wings’ – This dwarf cultivar of Solomon’s Seal has bright green alternate leaves on arching stalks, but gets its name from the silvery-grey reverse of the foliage. It bears clusters of green-tipped-white flowers that dangle below the stem in late spring. The leaves are also slightly twisted. Grows 16-18″ high. Spreads by creeping rhizomes. Hardy to zone 4.