While gardeners often have trouble finding plants that thrive in moist, shady areas, various flowering plants prefer these soil and lighting conditions. If you would like to grow flowers in moist shade, select plant varieties according to your hardiness zone, the plant's bloom time, flower color, general culture and intended use.
The rainbow iris (Iris hartwegii), also called the Sierra iris, belongs to the Iridaceae plant family. This iris variety features light green leaves and slender stems that reach from 6 to 12 inches high. Yellow flowers bloom in May and June, featuring purple or gold veins on the petals. This herbaceous perennial prefers moist, humusy soils in fully shady positions. Gardeners often plant rainbow irises in woodlands and on shaded slopes.
Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) form dense masses that reach up to 10 inches tall. This fumitory family member (Fumariaceae) features leafless stalks and feathery, green leaves. Clusters of fragrant, white to light yellow flowers bloom in April and May. This perennial prefers humusy soils in partly shady to fully shady locations. Gardeners often use Dutchman's breeches plants as ground covers in shady woodland areas.
The common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) belongs to the daisy family (Asteraceae) and bears pairs of vibrant, green leaves. Fuzzy clusters of small, dull white flowers sit on top of stiff stems that range from 3 to 6 feet tall. These flowers bloom from June through October. This perennial flower prefers moist to very wet soils in partly to fully sunny locations. The common boneset generally performs well in bogs and damp prairies.
The roundlobe hepatica (Hepatica nobilis), sometimes called the liverleaf plant, belongs to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). This perennial features hairy, green stems and rounded, green leaves that turn dark red in the autumn. Small flowers bloom in March and April, featuring lavender, pink, light blue or white blossoms. This flowering plant prefers moist, acidic soils in partly shady to fully shady locations. Gardeners often plant the roundlobe hepatica in shady, spruce or pine woodlands. This plant also works well in smaller, shaded gardens.
The celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), also called the yellow wood poppy, prefers moist, acidic soils in partly shady to fully shady locations. This Papaveraceae plant family member ranges from 12 to 14 inches in height. The grayish-green leaves often turn yellow and wilt during drought conditions. Flower clusters bloom yellow to yellow-orange in March and April. The celandine poppy typically performs well in wildflower gardens and shaded woodlands across the eastern regions of the United States.
The American lopseed (Phryma leptostachya) belongs to the verbena family (Verbenaceae) and earned its name because it produces small clusters of drooping, poisonous fruit. Spikes of white, pink or pale purple flowers appear from July through September. This perennial tolerates various lighting conditions, but prefers moist soils. Gardeners often plant the American lopseed in shaded thickets and woods.