En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - June 22, 2009

From: Milwaukee, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for a shady garden in Wisconsin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a shady garden in southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and am interested in introducing more native plants of all sizes and heights, hopefully with lovely flowers. I would love to know what you might suggest. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Please see our Recommended Species page and choose Wisconsin from the map or the pull-down menu.  This will give you a list of more than 170 native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in Wisconsin.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to find plants suitable for the shade by selecting 'Shade - 2 hrs or less' under Light Requirement.  You can also make selections under Soil Moisture and General Appearance.  Here are a few suggestions from the list:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood)

Dicentra cucullaria (dutchman's breeches)

Dryopteris cristata (crested woodfern)

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Lilium philadelphicum (wood lily)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)

Ostrya virginiana (hophornbeam)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

There are many more choices from the Recommended Species list for Wisconsin.


Aquilegia canadensis

Arisaema triphyllum

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Cornus alternifolia

Dicentra cucullaria

Dryopteris cristata

Hypericum prolificum

Lobelia cardinalis

Lilium philadelphicum

Mertensia virginica

Ostrya virginiana

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Tree and vine for shade and privacy
June 03, 2008 - We recently added a deck in our backyard which faces west, we live in Circle C (southwest Austin). The afternoon sun is intense so we're looking to plant something along our fence line to provide sh...
view the full question and answer

Flower color under large pine tree from South Elgin IL
April 05, 2013 - I have a very large pine tree that I would like to plant some flowers under. I have hostas, stonecrop and fern, but like to add some color. What do you suggest? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for rock garden under large oak
October 02, 2012 - I am planning a small rock garden under a large oak tree. I would like a spreading evergreen ground cover that will grow in the shade. Drought-tolerant would be preferred as I live in the high plains...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for a shady spot in IL
February 26, 2011 - I have a low-sun spot on the side of my house in Chicago, IL. I would really like to turn this spot into a wildflower garden. Could you suggest some native IL flowers that might work in this spot? ...
view the full question and answer

Low water use tree to shade pond in Burnet TX
May 10, 2011 - I'm in need of some shade at a 1/2 acre pond, but I don't want a tree to consume so much water that it will lower the water level. During droughts the little pond needs all the water it can get. Som...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center