Arisaema triphyllum is a striking perennial plant, with large leaves and eye-catching spadix flowers, which conceal the true flowers.
It hails from eastern parts of North America, mainly in damp woodland. It is also known as jack-in-the- pulpit or wild ginger.
The name Arisaema comes from Greek aris meaning “to grow” and aema meaning “flower”. Triphyllum means “three leafed”, referring to the three leaflets on each leaf.
The Latin specific epithet triphyllum refers to the three leaflets on the leaf.
This unique plant thrives in shade as a ground cover plant, reaching about 2 feet tall at the most.
It will also set seed readily.
Polemonium reptans, or Jacob’s Ladder, has been used since ancient times for its medicinal properties.
It was once widely cultivated throughout Europe and Asia, but it is now used as an ornamental plant.
It’s a great choice that doesn’t suffer from the occasional visit from deer, as it’s fairly resistant to them.
Jacob’s Ladder will thrive in either full sunlight or partial shade as a ground cover,
The name Polemonium derives from the Greek polemos (πολέμός) meaning “war” and monium (μινιον) meaning “herb”.
There are many types of Japanese anemones to choose from, but all are beautiful.
These perennials will do well in partial shade or full sunlight, and they do well particularly under large shrubs or trees, as long as they get enough moisture.
Their long stems, beautiful flowers, and contrasting foliage work well in any planting scheme, and the flowers also make a great statement in a vase or as a gift.
Fatsia japonica, the glossy-leaf paper plant, or the Japanese Aralia, comes from the southern parts of Japan and Korea.
While it’s commonly grown as an air-purifying houseplant, you may not know that the fatsia also bears white umbel flowers in the last few weeks of fall, or the first few weeks of winter.
Outside, it loves to be in the shade, and will withstand winter temperatures as long as they don’t fall beneath 5°F (or -15°C).
You can also get fatsia types which are variegated, too.
The Japanese Barberry, Berberis Thunbergii, makes a great addition to any garden with its bright red foliage, ringed with yellow at the edges.
This shrub doesn’t require a lot of moisture, and can withstand some drought, so it makes a great addition to rockeries, containers, and anywhere else which doesn’t have good water retention.
It will tolerate both sun and shade, although it does best in full sunlight.
In winter, it will lose its leaves, allowing for other plants to shine through.
At maturity, the Japanese Barberry will reach a height of about 6 feet tall, if it’s given the room. This plant will also withstand some attack from deer.
Japanese Cobra Lily
The Japanese cobra lily is an interesting perennial which acts as an interesting ground cover, filling in the gaps in your garden and helping to suppress weeds.
Also known as Arisaema sikokianum, this plant needs a lot of moisture to survive, and does well in shady areas, where it will treat you to dramatic white spadices which are a deep purple on the outside.
Japanese Forest Grass
Hakonechloa macra, or the Japanese forest grass, is a striking ornamental grass which will provide color and structure into any shady area of your garden.
It’s a very easy grass to grow, and thrives in moist soil which drains well. In fact, it prefers slightly acidic soils, and will even do better when planted near a pond or stream.
It has been used extensively in traditional Japanese gardens, and is often seen growing along pathways leading up to temples and shrines.
It will also produce flowers which make for great additions into any arrangement.
Iris japonica is a favorite among many gardeners, bringing a wealth of color and drama into any garden.
Its long, arching stems carry clusters of small, starry blooms which are a brilliant blue/violet, and come in shades ranging from light pink to dark violet.
These irises thrive in cool weather, but will still flower in warmer climates during the summer months.
They’re one of the easiest perennials to grow, and will thrive in almost any type of soil as long as it drains well.
Just remember to keep them watered, especially during dry periods.
The Japanese iris will reach 30cm tall when mature. It also helps that the plant is deer resistant.
The Japanese Kerria is a lovely flowering shrub which produces an abundance of yellow blooms (for another option, see also Thryallis Care Guide) in partial shade.
It’s a great choice for brightening up any dark corner of your garden, but it’s worth knowing that the Kerria japonica needs quite a lot of water to stay happy.
The Japanese pachysandra is a tough plant, resisting both deer and rabbits (see also Flowers Rabbits Won’t Eat), thriving in shady areas of your garden.
This evergreen shrub is perfect for adding texture and interest to any outdoor space, and will add a splash of color to your landscape year after year.
It’s also very easy to care for, requiring only occasional watering to avoid dying out, and it will survive in USDA zones 5 to 9.
You may also see it labeled as Pachysandra terminalis.
Pittosporum Tobira is perfect if you want a shrub that will provide you with plenty of showy, white flowers and scent.
It isn’t a very hardy plant, so it requires a sheltered position. It will survive in partial shade or full sunlight, with the most flowers being produced in a sunny position.
Anemone hupehensis, or the Japanese thimbleweed is a gorgeous perennial anemone which thrives in both full sunlight and dappled shade.
It will spread fairly easily, making for a spectacular show of pink flowers.
Japanese Toad Lily
Tricyrtis hirta, or the Japanese toad lily, is a perennial that loves damp or wet soil. It produces showy flowers in white or light purple with deep purple speckles.
This plant is great for ground cover, and will be hardy in USDA zones 4 through to 8.
Japanese Water Iris
Iris ensata, or the Japanese water iris, needs wet soil in order to thrive, as you might imagine. This makes it perfect for the edges of ponds, streams, or boggy areas of your garden.
This beautiful perennial will thrive in full sunlight or partial shade, producing blue, purple, pink, or white flowers.
Once the plant has matured, it can reach heights of 4 feet tall, making it a contender for any wet part of your garden.
Jasminum or Jasmine is perfect for adding color and fragrance into your garden.
The hardiness of jasmine depends on what type you choose (see also Types Of Jasmine), but most will survive in USDA zones 7 through to 10.
Jasmine flowers are usually white, but they may be pink, too, and will attract plenty of pollinators.
All jasmine plants send out climbing shoots, whether they are a vine or not, so they will need some support.
Jasmine will survive in full sunlight or partial shade, in loose, well-draining soil.
A very easy crop to grow, this plant has the beauty of an ornamental plant, while also producing edible tubers (see also Pumpkin Flowers for another option).
The Jerusalem artichoke, or Helianthus tuberosus, is a lovely plant that sends up bright yellow flowers in fall.
It will thrive in well-draining soil, in zones 3 to 9, and attracts plenty of pollinators.
The golden yellow flowers are perfect for cutting gardens, too.
Part of the mint plant family, Phlomis Fruticosa, or Jerusalem sage, does well in both partial shade and full sunlight.
This lovely shrub is evergreen in zones 8 through to 10, and produces showy yellow flowers, contrasting well against the deep green textured leaves.
If you plant enough Jerusalem sage, you’ll notice a fragrance coming from the flowers, similar to cloves.
This plant will withstand some cold, down to 18°F (-7°C), and it helps that this plant is also resistant to drought.
Jewelweed is a beautiful annual that’s sure to add interest and plenty of color into any garden.
Also known as Impatiens capensis, jewelweed needs plenty of water to produce its striking yellow and orange flowers.
These gorgeous blooms will also act as a magnet for pollinators.
As it is an annual plant, you’ll need to sow seeds again the following year, but the jewelweed will sow its own seeds to a degree.
For an annual, it’s surprisingly hardy in zones 2 through to 11, making it a great choice in any garden, as long as you provide it with full sunlight and well-draining soil.
Joe Pye Weed
Eutrochium purpureum, or Joe Pye weed, is a great perennial addition to any garden.
It produces airy, frothy flowers in light pink, well above the bright green foliage, and contrasts well against the dark red stems.
It will produce more flowers under full sunlight, but this plant will also do well in partial shade.
It’s a great choice if you want to see more butterflies and other pollinators in your garden, as well as being an easy plant to grow.
Johnson’s Beehive Cactus Flowers
Echinomastus Johnsonii, or the Johnson’s beehive cactus, is a small, spine-covered cactus that’s easily mistaken for brush.
It comes from the southwestern parts of the US in desert scrub, and it’s also known as Johnson’s fishhook cactus.
It produces yellow or pink flowers under the right conditions, which are followed by fruit.
Alternanthera dentata, or Joseph’s Coat, is a captivating perennial plant which is part of the amaranth plant family.
It’s usually grown as a houseplant for its burgundy foliage and white flowers, but it is hardy in USDA zones 10 and 11.
It will thrive in a lot of sunlight equally well as it will in partial shade, and requires plenty of water.
Cylindropuntia Bigelovii, or Jumping cholla, is a unique cactus which has a reputation of attacking people who get too close.
Despite what the name might imply, jumping cholla does not jump onto its victim, but offsets will attach themselves to any animal or human that gets too close to the plant, and can be difficult to detach.
It produces striking yellow flowers, and will thrive in zones 8 through to 11. It needs full sunlight, where it will weather any dry spells with ease.