Plants with colorful foliage help draw interest to gardens and landscape. Many species of plant have aesthetically pleasing foliage with contrasting markings and color combinations. Some vegetables and fruit varieties offer attractive options for eye-catching foliage. Plants with green leaves and purple veins come in a wide assortment of species.
Coleus “Fishnet Stockings” is a perennial species of coleus with bright lime-green leaves highlighted by deep purple veins. This member of the Lamiaceae plant family thrives in partial shade with well-draining soil. This small spreading plant has a bushy formation and a rapid rate of growth. Blue Hawaii elephant ear (Colocasia exculenta “Blue Hawaii”) is a perennial tropical plant cultivated for its decorative foliage. This 30-inch tall sun-loving plant enjoys rich, moist well-draining soils. Blue Hawaii has foot-long medium green leaves with purple veins on top and cranberry-toned veins on the underside of the leaves.
African Blue basil (Ocimum basilicum “African Blue”) is one of the few perennial varieties of basil. This drought tolerant Lamiaceae family plant likes full sun but withstands shade. African Blue is a bushy plant with a weed like formation, brilliant green leaves with purple veins and large purple flowering spikes. Eulophia bicallosa is an herbaceous orchid plant native to tropical regions in Taiwan, Asia and northern Australia. This herb plant with green foliage and purple veins is a member of the Orchidaceae family. Eulophia bicallosa grows 20 to 28 inches tall.
Sweet pepino Rio bamba (Solanum muricatum “Rio Bamba”) is an evergreen shrub indigenous to South America. This short plant from the Solanaceae family produces medium-size sweet fruit with purple stripes. The dark green foliage of Rio Bamba has reddish-purple veins and purple stems. Tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is a small spherical green or purple fruit surrounded by a husk. This member of the Solanaceae family has medium green leaves with purple veins and light green husks. This tart, slightly citrusy sweet fruit takes 70 days to mature for harvest.
Trionfo Violetto pole bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is a 6- to 8-foot bean plant with lengthy plum purple bean pods that form on the vine. This member of the Fabaceae plant family develops green leaves with purple veins. The dark purple French style beans mature within 60 days for harvest. Osaka Purple mustard greens (Brassica juncea “Osaka Purple”) are a 12- to 14-inch tall mustard plant. This compact plant has medium green leaves with purplish-red veins. A member of the Brassicaceae plant family Osaka Purple matures in 40 days and has a mild taste.
- New Mexico State University Extension: Vegetable Variety Recommendations for New Mexico Backyard and Market Gardens
- Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Calhoun County Plants
- Clemson University Extension; Coleus; Karen Russ and Bob Polomski
- University of California at Davis Extension; There’s More to Sweet Basil than Pesto; Michelle Le Strange
- Harvard University Extension: Flora of China
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