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Mirror plant glows in dry shade

Variegated mirror plant can brighten up any dry, shady spot.
Variegated mirror plant can brighten up any dry, shady spot.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Garden Gems” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that add sparkle to drought-tolerant landscapes.

Variegated mirror plant

Coprosma X kirkii “Variegata”

Size: Up to 2 feet tall by 5 feet wide.

Bloom season: Flowers are insignificant, although plant may produce some translucent white berries in summer.

Exposure: Shade to partial shade.

Pruning needs: Tip prune to increase branching when young.

Water needs: Low in shade; once established, deep water once or twice a month.

Snapshot: With its intriguing name, this unusual low-growing shrub comes from New Zealand and Australia, a source of many interesting low-water plants. This ground-hugging evergreen features shiny white and green striped leaves that almost glow in dry shade. A useful ground cover, mirror plant can brighten up any dry and shady spot.

For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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