Musa acuminata subsp. zebrina – The Blood Banana is a dwarf subspecies with green leaves that are irregularly streaked or blotched in burgundy-red. It is best grown as a container specimen or houseplant in coastal BC as it cannot be overwintered outdoors. Eventually forms a multi-stemmed grove. Produces small edible bananas. Grows 6-8′ high. Hardy to zone 9.
Farfugium japonicum ‘Aureomaculata’ (syn. Ligularia tussilaginea) – Leopard Plant is a tender evergreen perennial with thick dark green leaves and prominent gold spotting. It is primarily grown as a foliage plant for partial shade exposures but does produce stalks of yellow daisies in autumn. Requires regular watering to thrive. Grows 12-24″ high by 18-24′ wide. Zone 7.
Strobilanthes dyerianus – Persian Shield is a soft-stemmed shrub where hardy, but here in coastal BC it is primarily grown as an annual foliage plant. This native of Myanmar (Burma) features 6″ long deep green leaves with a violet-purple overlay and a distinct silver to pewter sheen. The best foliage colour is produced in part shade exposures. Grows 12-36″ high and wide. Zone 10.
Colocasia esculenta ‘Mojito’ – A beautifully variegated Taro with huge arrow-shaped leaves, each marbled or blotched with chartreuse, green and deep purple. This sport of ‘Black Marble’ also has attractive pink stems that are mottled. Grows well in containers (with ample irrigation) or as a shallow water marginal plant. Grows 4-6′ tall by 4′ wide where hardy. Zone 8.
Caladium bicolor (syn. Caladium x hortulanum) – These popular houseplants are grown from tender tubers which cannot be overwintered outdoors (store at 56-61F for winter) in coastal BC, but they also make fine bedding plants in open or partial shade. The arrowhead shaped leaves come in green, white, rose, pink purple and red. Grows 18-30″ high and wide. Hardy to zone 9.