Evergreen shrubs keep their leaves all though the winter and can be found in most areas of the country. In the north, evergreen leaves give an otherwise barren garden a splash of color until the other plants bloom in spring. In the south, the evergreen shrubs also produce spectacular flowers that fit right in with a tropical or sub-tropical landscape.
Parson's juniper (Juniperus davurica) is also known as dahurian juniper. The shrub is an evergreen conifer that grows from 2 to 3 feet tall with a spread of 4 to 10 feet. The plant produces tiny, soft blue-green needle-like leaves. Plant parson's juniper in full sun to get a dense shrub and in partial shade for a ground cover. The soil should be dry to moist. The plant is hardy from zone 4 to 11, all but the coldest zone in the continental United States.
Chenille plant (Acalypha hispida) is also known as red-hot cattail, foxtail and red-hot cat's tail. The shrub grows about 6 to 12 feet tall with a spread of 3 to 6 feet. The leaves are oval, growing from 4 to 9 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide. The plant will have either male or female flowers. The female flowers are purple, bright red or crimson and grow in soft, fluffy clusters from 8 to 20 inches long and 1 inch in diameter, looking very much like a cat’s tail. Plant the chenille plant in full sun to get the most flowers, but it can go in partial shade. The shrub is hardy from zone 10B to 12, the hottest zone in the continental United States, the Florida Keys and Hawaii.
Littleleaf boxwood ( Buxus microphylla) is also known as small-leaved boxwood and boxwood. The plant grows from 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide with small dark-green oblong leaves that turn bronze in the fall. The flowers are small, fragrant, yellow-green and star-shaped and grow in clusters with one female flower at the center surrounded by male flowers. Plant littleleaf boxwood in partial shade in the south and full sun in the north. The plant is hardy in zones 5 through 9--from southern New England south to Central Florida, across the middle of the county, south to the Gulf Coast and up the West Coast including Washington and Oregon.