Let us marvel at the wonders of nature and her ability to create something so unique with a stroke of the transcendental brush. I'm gettin' deep here, I know. But seriously, there is something in the plant kingdom that is very unique and cool about the variegation of color. For many plant addicts like yours truly, this condition caused by natural viruses and other factors, is highly prized. Case in point, may I present to you Farfugium japonicum 'Argenteum' (try saying that 3 times real fast) from a group of plants commonly referred to as the Leopard Plant. Here we have a leopard that has ch...ch...ch...ch...changed its spots in a somewhat abstract way. The foliage of this plant can be marbled with varying degrees of pearly swirly cream and green to celadon green.
Now, if you have a shady garden this is one leopard you should consider. It originates from regions of China and Japan. As a perennial, water-loving plant, it sends up, 1 to 2 feet, an umbrella of foliage that unfolds into big kidney to heart-shaped leaves that provide a rich bold texture to things. In autumn/winter it will produce bright daisy-like flowers with rays as golden as the sun on stems blushed with purple. Definitely perks up the place when all is quiet at the end of the season. Farfugium japonicum 'Argenteum' looks smashing in containers and mysteriously serene en masse in the ground. It'll die back at zero degrees but will sprout anew come spring. As far as shade plants go, it's a look that's both chic and unique.