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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Color guides

I need a reference that lists the greenscale color of leaves (or plants).


It would be helpful to have more information about what you are trying to do. There are charts which show different shades of green in leaves as evidence of nitrogen levels, but these are mainly used in agricultural settings, such as rice cultivation.

If you are looking for charts used in horticulture, one tool for answering questions about plant colors is the Colour Chart put out by the Royal Horticultural Society. This is a set of numbered cards, in every imaginable color, that you can hold up to a flower or leaf in order to determine the standardized color. There is an extensive set of colors in the green scale. The problem with the RHS color chart is that it is expensive. If you are able to visit the Miller Library, we have a copy of this color chart that you are able to use in the library.

The Azalea Society of America has a page of information on color systems which includes the RHS Colour Chart, the Universal Color Language, Munsell, and others.

Date 2017-04-14
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Shrubs, Weigela, Color guides, Dwarf conifers and shrubs, Nandina domestica

Can you give me some information on Weigela Midnight Wine and dwarf Nandina? Are there any plant lists of purple-leafed shrubs?


Following is a good description of Weigela 'Midnight Wine.' The information comes from the Missouri Botanical Garden, so it is tested and accurate.


'Elvera' Midnight Wine is a dwarf version of the popular Weigela 'Wine and Roses' (W760). It is a dense, rounded, low-growing deciduous shrub that typically grows to only 1.5-2 feet tall and as wide. Features profuse reddish-pink flowers and burgundy-purple foliage. Reddish-pink, funnel-shaped flowers (to 1.25 inches long) appear singly or in clusters along the branches of the previous year's growth in mid- to late spring, with sparse and scattered repeat bloom often occurring on new growth as the summer progresses. Elliptic to obovate, glossy, burgundy-purple leaves (to 3 inches long) turn very dark purple in autumn. Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. Original cultivar name is 'Elvera', but plants are being marketed under the registered trademark name of Midnight Wine. U. S. Plant Patent #12,217 issued November 20, 2001. Source.


There are several varieties of dwarf Nandina, such as 'Harbour Dwarf,' 'Firepower,' 'Nana,' and 'Nana purpurea.' University of Florida Extension has a feature on dwarf Nandina on their website. There are also plants available from nurseries such as Forestfarm Nursery and Greer Gardens in Oregon, and Whitney Gardens in Washington.

PLANT SUGGESTIONS As far as lists of plants with purple foliage, you should find a wealth of information in the book Black Magic and Purple Passion, by Karen Platt, 2004. There are also lists online, such as this page from Iowa State University Extension, entitled "A Passion for Purple." You can also search Royal Horticultural Society's Plant Selector and other similar resources by leaf color.

Date 2017-05-11
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August 01 2017 12:36:01