shade tolerant plants for the seattle climate

Swansons offers a wide variety of quality plants particularly suited for use in a shady garden. 

Types of Shade:

Light Shade is complete shade for 2-3 hours between 10 am-6 pm Mar-Sept. 
Half Shade is full shade for 4-5 hours between 10 am-6 pm Mar-Sept. 
Dappled Shade is light shade through trees all day. Mar-Sept. 

Plants in the list below should perform well in any of the above conditions. For more detailed information about each plant, please refer to individual cultivar signs, or consult one of Swanson’s plant professionals. 


BLUEBELLS Scilla campanulatus (DT)
CHIONODOXA Chionodoxa spp. (C)
DOGTOOTH VIOLET Erythronium spp.
GRAPE HYACINTH Muscari armeniacum (C)
HARDY CYCLAMEN C. coum, C. hederifolium (DT)
NARCISSUS Narcissus spp. (C)
SNOWDROPS Galanthus nivalis (C)


BEARBERRY Cotoneaster dammeri
CREEPING EUONYMOUS Euonymous fortunei (DT)
DEAD NETTLE Lamium spp.
JAPANESE SPURGE Pachysandra terminalis
LILY-OF-THE-VALLEY Convallaria majalis
PERIWINKLE Vinca minor cultivars
RUPTUREWORT Hernieria glabra
SALAL Gaultheria shallon
SAND STRAWBERRY Fragaria chiloensis
SMALL-LEAVED IVY Hedera helix (non-invasive)
TAIWAN RUBUS Rubus pentalobus

Perennials & Grasses

BARRENWORT Epimedium spp.
BEAR'S BREECH Acanthus spp.
BLEEDING HEART Dicentra ssp.
BUGLOSS Brunnera ssp.
COLUMBINE Aquilegia spp.
ELEPHANT EARS Bergenia spp. (C) (DT)
FALSE SOLOMON'S SEAL Smilacina racemosa
FORGET-ME-NOT Myosotis spp.
FOXGLOVE Digitalis spp.
FRINGECUP Tellima grandiflora
HARDY FERNS Polystichum spp., Dryopteris
HARDY FUCHSIA Fuchsia magellanica
HARDY GERANIUM Geranium macrorrhizum
HELLEBORE Helleborus spp.
HEN & CHICKENS Sempervivum spp.
HOSTA Hosta spp.
LADY'S MANTLE Alchemilla spp. (C) (DT)
SOLOMON'S SEAL Polygonatum spp.
TRILLIUM Trillium spp.
WINDFLOWER Anemone japonica

Ornamental Grasses

FOREST GRASS Hakonechloa spp.
LILYTURF Liriope spp.
SEDGE C. flagillifera, C. testacea
WOOD RUSH Luzula spp.