Coloured foliage of Brunnera "Looking Glass," Pulmonaria, and grass Milium effusum "Aureum"

Green Isn’t the Only Colour

Plants are green. Everyone knows that. But green isn’t a single colour; there are a million shades of green. Throw in texture and an all-green planting is anything but monotone.

But many plants have leaves in colours besides or other than green. Combinations of white and green, for example. Or colours such as orange, red, purple, or even blue. Blue leaves–imagine that!

Here are some plants from my garden with colour variations.

Green and white Hosta
Green and white variegated hosta
Green and white ornamental grass
Green and white grass
Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum
Japanese painted fern
Heuchera "Green Spice"
Heuchera “Green Spice.” Note the similar colours to the fern!
Heuchera "Key Lime Pie"
Heuchera “Key Lime Pie”
Heuchera "Timeless Orange" with grey foliage in the background
Heuchera “Timeless Orange” and grey leaved plants
Brunnera "Looking Glass"
Brunnera “Looking Glass”

The last one is my favourite. Cerinthe “Pride of Gibraltar” starts out with leaves of pale green, but as the flower buds develop, the leaves close to them turn a bronzy purple, and then a pure blue. Some are almost navy blue. The flowers are those little purple tubes sticking out at the ends.

Cerinthe Pride of Gibraltar close-up, blue leaves
Cerinthe "Pride of Gibraltar"


    1. When I saw them years ago, I had to try growing them. There was something about the combination of purple, bronze, blue, and blue-green that is unique. And unlike some beautiful plants, these are easy to grow.

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  1. Chlorophyll: “We hates the green, hates it we do.”
    Bilbo: “But, you’re nothing but green.”
    Chlorophyll: “Whats did you say?”
    Bilbo: “Look at yourself in the mirror, you’re green as a frog.”
    Chlorophyll: “But we hates it, we do.”
    Bilbo: “Oh, I see, you like red and blue and yellow, but you despise green.”
    Chlorophyll: “We hates it.”
    Bilbo: “Well, I rather like it.”
    Chlorophyll: “Curses to hobbits. Curse you all.”

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