Evergreens are plants that gradually replenish their leaves. Unlike evergreens, deciduous plants can be totally leafless in appearance during their replenishing. There are many different forms an evergreen can take in leaf shape. Evergreen plants make a garden full of life, and flowering evergreens add a splash of color to the texture of the foliage.
Blue flies, or Aristea ecklonii, are from the Iridaceae, or iris, family. This evergreen perennial is good for shady garden plots, or in containers. Blue flies have grass-like leaves that are 15 to 18 inches tall, and blue flowers in the spring and summer. Saucer-shaped flowers last only one day for each flower. Plant in full sun or light shade, in rich, well-drained soil, propagating via seed or by division of rooted clumps.
Scarlet milkweed, or Asclepias curassavica, is from the Asclepiadaceae, or milkweed, family. This evergreen can be annual or perennial, and attracts butterflies to the garden. Leaves are 5 inches long on a 3-to-4 foot high plant with orange or red (rarely yellow) flowers that are 2 to 4 inches wide. The tree produces flowers from spring to fall. Plant a scarlet milkweed in any soil type with full sun or partial shade. Propagate via cuttings or by seed.
African iris, or Dietes iridioides, is from the Iridaceae, or iris, family. It is an evergreen perennial. Leaves are sword shaped and up to 2 feet long. Flowers grow on stalks that are 2 to 4 feet tall with 3 inch wide white and yellow flowers. Plant African iris in light shade or full sun, in any soil, and propagate via rhizome division or seed. The tree may reseed on its own.
Stokes aster, or Stokesia laevis, is from the Asteraceae/Compositae, or aster/daisy, family. It is an evergreen perennial that is easy to grow for even a beginner gardener. Leaves are 6 to 8 inches on a 1 to 2 foot plant. Flowers are 3 to 4 inches in blue, white, pink or lavender. Plant a stokes aster in acidic, well-drained soil in full sun. Propagate via root clump division and by seeds.