Evergreen Perennial Plants List.
A Perennial Plant is one that lives for several - maybe many
- years. Shrubs, trees, bulbs, and some garden plants are all
true perennials. Many houseplants will also fall into this
category - even though 'tender' perennials.
An Evergreen Plant is one that retains leaves
throughout its life - even if it sheds some of its leaves from
time to time. Again, some shrubs, some trees and some garden
plants are evergreen plants.
For this section on garden perennials however, that group of
perennial garden plants which are also evergreen are what we are
referring to as Evergreen Perennials. We exclude shrubs and
trees, and simply move down a notch to the commonly used phrase
of perennials - as relating to garden plants.
Evergreen Perennials are distinct from
Herbaceous Perennials, in that
they retain foliage throughout their life. (Some climatic conditions
might cause an otherwise evergreen plant to shed some of even all of its
foliage.) For the purpose of gardening, most perennials are lumped
together as one group - evergreen or herbaceous - Perennials.
List of Evergreen Perennials.
This list will be expanded upon - particularly in relation to
how important an evergreen some of the subjects are! It is more of a
'mind-jogger' rather than educational!
- Ajuga - Bugle - useful group of low spreading
evergreen perennials. Stolons root into soil easily so producing new
plants not a problem.
- Alyssum - Golden flowered evergreen perennial -
not to be confused with the white flowered Alyssum which is used for
bedding and is an annual. Alyssum montanum and Alyssum saxatile are
the two best for grey/green foliage.
- Alchemilla mollis - Lady's Mantle tried very
hard to be evergreen! Worthy of consideration,
- Anaphalis - Anaphalis nepalensis probably the
best for evergreen foliage. Grey-green, lance shaped foliage on
clump forming plant.
- Arabis - Low growing evergreen perennial but
not showy foliage. The variegated forms of Arabis coacasica
Variegata and A. procumbens Variegata are good for low growing cover
- Armeria Thrift - Cushion forming evergreen
perennial. Bland foliage but flowers please!
- Artemisia - Good range of evergreen foliage
with silvers and grey greens in almost all varieties.
- Asplenium - Good range of evergreen perennial
ferns. Asplenium scolopendrium being one of the better evergreens.
- Aubrietia - Used extensively on walls and rock
gardens, but good ground covering evergreen perennial for front of
border, containers etc. Some are variegated and give added interest.
- Bergenia - A 'must-have' evergreen
perennial - with flowers in late winter - pinks and reds etc.
- Campanula - Evergreen varieties do little than
simply cover a bit of earth in winter. Some are good carpeting
plants for a wall or rockery or front bed/border. (Campanula
carpatica types best for evergreen cover.)
- Carex - Carex Evergold - Sedge/Grass - is
one of the best. Pop over to our
ornamental grasses section to explore.
- Cistus - Rock Rose - The low growing Cistus are
the best for evergreen foliage cover. Many have silver grey foliage.
- Convulvulus cneorum - Actually a shrub, but
worth of mention for the silver grey foliage and sits in well with
- Corydalis - Several are evergreen - my
favourite being Corydalis ochroluca - finely cut foliage. Needs sun
and well drained - evn dry - soil.
- Deschampsia - A Grass that has to be mentioned.
Deschampsia cespitosa Goldtau is the best of them.
- Dianthus (Pinks) The rockery pinks are not
special for foliage other than covering, but the old fashioned
garden pinks (Dianthus) invariably have good silver foliage.
- Epimedium - Bishop's Mitre etc - are a good
range of evergreen perennials - Epimedium perralderianum is a good
ground covering perennial in semi shade.
- Eryngium - Sea Holly - Eryngium variifolium
being truly perennial - with silver foliage as well.
- Erysimum - There is a good variegated form of
this wallflower. Eeysimum linifolium Variegatum with golden foliage.
The others are all evergreen, but not so showy!
- Euphorbia - Spurge - A few useful evergreens in
this group. Some are classed as shrubs, or sub shrubs - but all fit
in well with perennial plantings. For height and silver grey foliage
- AND winter flowers, look no further than
charachias Lambrook Gold. Yes - actually a shrub - but useful
for this list also.
- Farfugium - I like this! They all like the
damp, and there are several variegated forms - silver and gold!
- Festuca (Blue Fescue) - Dwarf Blue Grass -
F.g. Elijah Blue
being the best I think.
- Geranium - True geraniums - not the
bedding types - have several that are - or try to be - evergreen.
Geranium macrorrhyzum is best described as semi-evergreen (But I
would still use it if you have room for it to spread). One of its
hybrid offspring being Geranium x cantabrigiense. In my experience
- Geum - Most Geums are evergreen to varying
degrees. Depends upon the season!
- Helianthemum- Rock Roses are mostly evergreen
perennials - with silver grey foliage as well.
- Helictotrichon -
Blue Grass. very evergreen and desirable.
- Helleborus (Lenten Rose) - Helleborus
orientalis are reliably evergreen - even if a little untidy in the
- Helichrysum - Sub shrubs some - no matter, they
are good here as well! Helichrysum splendidum lives up to its name
with silver foliage. Helichrysum italicum also suitable here -
especially for that silver foliage and curry plant aroma!
- Hemerocallis Daylily -
SOME are fully evergreen - most are semei-evergreen
- Hepatica - Evergreen sometimes! - But, nice
unusual foliage - but you will need to look for it!
- Heuchera - These were great when they were
simply 'coral bells' but now the breeders have got on to them they
arte absolutely brilliant. What a range of evergreen foliage
perennials these are!
Heucherella (Foam Bells) - Not as showy or evergreen
as their part parent Hechera!
- Iberis ( Candytuft) - Evergreen mat
- Iris foetidissima - I. unguicularis. The latter
simply looks like evergreen lawn grass - out of control! The Iris
foetidissima is also untidy, but bearable if you have space, for the
orange/red seeds. Not a first choice!
- Kniphofia - Messy red Hot Poker foliage -
- Lewisia - Evergreen foliage mat forming, but then a
display of some of the gaudiest coloured flowers around!
- Libertia - I like this for the rusty gold foliage! Libertia
peregrinans is the one to go for.
- Mmm - There is a variegated form which makes a 'nice' evegreen.
- Lithodora - Basic green mat forming evergreen
perennial - or sub shrub. The blue flowers in early summer being the
- Luzula - Luzula sylvatica Aurea is the one to
find. A 'rush' type perennial - good gold foliage.
- Miscanthus asstd - These
grasses are mainly deciduous, but hold their stems and foliage
well into the winter. So, not evergreen, but much better than many
- Ophiopogon -
Black grass that is not always easy to see - unless in light
gravel etc. But, there is a good variegated form - Ophiopogon
- Pachysandra - Evergreen and good ground cover -
- Parahebe - Evergreen sub-shrub - flowers are
- Penstemon - In this list simply because they
are mostly evergreen perennials. Flowers are superb of course!
- Phormium - New Zealand Flax - First rate
evergreen perennial - what a range of colours on the lance shaped
- Phygelius - Evergreen, but the flowers are the
- Primula - More or less evergreen but rarely
spectacular - other than the flowers of course.
- Primula auricula - Silver foliage of sorts.
- Pteris - I have seen these evergreen ferns
living in near freezing conditions, and also dying in warmer
conditions! If they survive - under a canopy of deciduous trees
seems best - then they are desirable!
- Ruta graveolens - Steel grey/silver foliage
- Sagina (Irish Moss) - Moss says it all
really! That's a little unkind for they are good ground hugging
- Santolina - Love them or hate them - the silver
foliage on the Santolina chamaecyparissus is great for the winter -
and summer. Maybe a sub-shrub!
- Sedum Assorted - Take your pick. The stone
crops are reliably hardy and evergreen perennials - I like the
Golden foliaged Sedum acre - Sedum acre Aureum.
- Sempervivum - House Leeks or Chickens and
Hens. All the hardy ones have evergreen interest - especially if
planted in alpine screes, in rocks, in containers, in old boots.
Anywhere really. Can be quite addictive!
- Senecio - Senecio cineraria - Brilliant silver
if you can give it dry and sheltered position.
- Sisyrinchium - Silver foliage of sorts on the
Sisyrinchium striatum. Oh! And there is a variegated form
Sisyrinchium striatum Variagatum (Silver stripes)
- Stipa tenuissima - One of the best
- Thymus - A good colour range now in the foliage
of the ground hugging evergreen perennials.
- Viola - Pansy - Violet. It is the flowers of
course that are the attraction, but they are also evergreen plants!
- Zauschneria - Z. californica is the one to go
for. Basic evergreen foliage that will spread - but then the flowers
tend to go on and on and on!
By David Hughes -