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 of foliage.
  • 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.
    Asarum
  • 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 other perennials.
  • 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 Euphorbia 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 fully evergreen.
  • 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 winter.
  • 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!
  •  x Heucherella (Foam Bells) - Not as showy or evergreen as their part parent Hechera!
  • Iberis ( Candytuft) - Evergreen mat forming.
  • 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  - but evergreen!
  •  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.
  • Liriope - 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 saving grace!
  • Luzula - Luzula sylvatica Aurea is the one to find. A 'rush' type perennial - good gold foliage.
  • Miscanthus asstd - These ornamental grasses are mainly deciduous, but hold their stems and foliage well into the winter. So, not evergreen, but much better than many evergreen perennials.
  • Ophiopogon - Black grass that is not always easy to see - unless in light gravel etc. But, there is a good variegated form - Ophiopogon jaburan Variegatum
  • Pachysandra - Evergreen and good ground cover - sub-shrub.
  • Parahebe - Evergreen sub-shrub - flowers are better.
  • 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 foliage.
  • Phygelius - Evergreen, but the flowers are the main attraction.
  • 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 evergreens otherwise!
  • 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 evergreen grasses.
  • 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 - info@gardenseeker.com 




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