Marcie Forsberg's Top Plant Recommendations: Favorite Shade Perennials.
Columbines - Aquilegia spp.
I love the columbines in the shade garden, particularly the native Aquilegia canadensis with it's tall, delicate, nodding orange blossoms. Perfect combined with lower growing ferns and other groundcovers. Additional Details
Blooming as late as September in MN, this plant has tall, spiky white flowers that are fragrant. It makes a great statement in a shade garden, and has great winter interest. The deer won't eat this.
Mayapple - Podophyllum peltatum
Also known as the Mayapple, this native MN plant grows well in shaded woodland type areas. It will go dormant in summer. It has a large umbrella-like leave with a white flower on the underside. This is a great foliage plant to bring interest to the shade garden.
Bloodroot - Sanguinaria canadensis
Bloodroot is another spring ephemeral plant. A large lobed leaf with a beautiful, delicate white flower that blooms in the spring. A great companion for ferns.