With some of the most colorful foliage of any plant, coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) is a showstopper in a shady garden. This tender tropical plant has an amazing array of colors and leaf patterns. Look for hot pink, orange, lime green, burgundy, chocolate brown, yellow, lavender and even a purple so dark it looks black. Though coleus does produce spikes of lavender flowers, you'll appreciate it most for the colorful leaves, which typically look like a rounded triangle with scalloped edges. Other leaf shapes are frilly, skinny or deeply notched, depending on the cultivar.
Coleus 'Ruby Ruffles' (Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Ruby Ruffles')
Height: 12-16". Frilly, fingery foliage with ruby centers and chartreuse edges appear in summer. Prefers part to full shade.