Persian Shield

A close-up of one of the few plants I make sure I buy every year – mostly because it’s my favorite color, but at one time because it was also one of the few purple plants that thrives well in shade.

Due to some tree-cutting in my neighbor’s yard, I have less shade now, and less pressure to be on the lookout for shade-tolerant plants. But I keep buying Persian Shield, and always will. It’s not always easy to find, but I eventually find a nursery that sells it, and my current set of three have done the best they ever have.

This year, instead of putting the Persian Shield out near the (previously shaded, now sun-drenched) patio fountain, I put them into a flower box located beside my side porch, so I get to see them every time I come into the house.

Too bad this plant, which the Southern Living Gardening Book says is native to Burma, is a “tender perennial” in Georgia’s climate instead of a “hardy” one, as I lose mine to the first frost each winter. But that fact hasn’t prevented me from enthusiastically purchasing a few of them again each spring, along with my mandatory purchases of scarlet geraniums and my favorite herbs.

Nice, yes? Persian Shield (or, according to the Garden Book, Stobilanthes dyeranus).

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