Shade Loving Plants

Ground Covers



For gardeners in Zones 5 and 6, there are no better evergreen hollies than the Meserve hybrids, most of which have �blue� in their names to honor their dark, shiny leaves.

Blue Princess is royal for two reasons: its abundant dark red berries and its full pyramidal shape. Height can be as much as 15 feet, though 8 to 10 feet is more common. Blue Girl grows faster but has fewer berries, and is a less bushy plant.

Blue Prince is the Princess�s usual consort, similar in shape and size, with very dark, lustrous leaves. You might also consider the newer Mesan, a k a Blue Stallion. It grows slightly faster than Blue Prince, with no loss of shapeliness, and its leaves are a bit less spiny.

And Mesan will pollinate Meschick, a k a Dragon Lady, as well as Blue Princess. The Lady is slightly less hardy than the Princess but taller, to 20 feet, and columnar, so it could make nice corners.

No matter which of these hollies you choose, large plants from a local retailer will give you the strongest start. The wholesale grower Conard-Pyle, first to offer Kathleen Meserve�s handiwork (back in the 1960s), has a dealer locator at An alternative is Monrovia (dealer locator at


Benches -- Tue, 28 Nov 2006 06:58:23 -0600 reply