What is it about this combo that had both Christina and I reaching for our cameras? Between us we took a dozen or so shots from different angles. I came to the conclusion that its power is in its simplicity.
The star is undoubtedly the Iron Cross oxalis (Oxalis tetraphylla ‘Iron Cross’) with its four leaved clover type foliage, each cluster of heart shaped leaves having a dark center. The color echo with the strappy black mondo grass (Ophiopogon plansicapus ‘Nigrescens’) combined with the high contrast in texture is striking.
Thrown into the medley is the burgundy wedding train coleus (Solenostemon hybrida ‘Burgundy Wedding Train’) a vigorous trailing cultivar with smaller leaves than most. Notice how its leaves are also heart shaped – a repetition of the oxalis.
All three could mingle happily as a dramatic shady groundcover or be equally at home in a container where the coleus would throw up stems to pierce its companions and also spill over the edge of the pot.
How easy is that?
Iron cross oxalis; hardy in zones 8a-10b; or use it as an annual! This grows 6″ tall, has hot pink flowers and likes part shade. (It may wilt in full sun). Average moisture. Non-invasive. It is also said to be deer and rodent resistant – I’m still testing that!!
Black mondo grass: Hardy in zones 6-10. 6″ tall and wide. Evergreen. Sun or part shade. My deer leave this for the rabbits.
Burgundy wedding train coleus: annual. 12-18″ high and trails/climbs to 2′. Morning sun and afternoon shade.
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