At this time of year when the last autumn leaves are shedding I start to notice some of the more subtle plants around the garden and this is definitely one of them. It is an evergreen perennial or sub-shrub grown basically for its pretty chocolate foliage. The flowers are small and the same colour as the leaves but what a useful thing it is!
Every so often I cut it to the ground and within weeks it is back and better than ever.
It grows to about 1metres tall and seems happy in sun to semi-shade as long as it isn’t deadly dry. Although a warning must be sounded at this point. It will self seed and some people seem to find it very willing. I do get seedlings in my garden but find the excess easy to deal with and they often come up in spots I would never have put them and promptly look stunning!
The colour of the leaves is a great foil for flowers in almost any colour. It is great with reds, yellows and other strong shades and equally as good with pinks, whites and other pastels as well.