Richie Steffen

Great Plant Pick: Corylopsis pauciflora, buttercup winterhazel

Winterhazels pair wonderfully with early spring perennials such as snowdrops or hellebores.

Great Plant Pick: Narcissus ‘Tete-a-tete,’ miniature daffodil

These delightful golden-yellow flowers positively glow in the late-winter garden.

Great Plant Pick: Helleborus foetidus, stinking hellebore

The plant gets its nickname from the stinky smell you get when the leaves are crushed.

Great Plant Pick: Cryptomeria japonica ‘Spiralis,’ granny’s ringlets

This semi-dwarf Japanese cedar, bright apple green in color, is especially attractive in the winter.

Great Plant Pick: Pieris japonica ‘Brookside Miniature’

This dwarf columnar lily-of-the-valley shrub has clusters of urn-shaped white flowers.

Great Plant Pick: Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’

Varigated kamtschaticum stonecrop is well suited for the rock garden or edging in a dry border.

Great Plant Pick: Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Variegatus’

Variegated false holly produces tiny — but powerfully fragrant — flowers in the fall.

Great Plant Pick: Thujopsis dolobrata, hiba cedar

With its bold foliage, this refined evergreen warrants more plantings in the Northwest.

Great Plant Pick: Mahonia x media ‘Arthur Menzies,’ hybrid mahonia

The shrub is named for the late Arthur Menzies, who was assistant director of the Seattle arboretum.

Great Plant Pick: Rhodiola pachyclados, Afghani sedum

This sedum is an excellent groundcover that forms a flat, dense mound of glossy blue-green leaves.

Great Plant Pick: Pinus contorta ‘Chief Joseph,’ golden lodgepole pine

This golden lodgepole pine sports intense golden-yellow foliage in the winter.

Great Plant Pick: Abelia x grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’

This gold-variegated abelia is transformed by a kaleidoscope of colors over the course of the year.

Great Plant Pick: Erica carnea ‘Rubinteppich,’ winter heath

This spreading shrub covers itself with hundreds of small urn-shaped, purple-red flowers in winter.

Great Plant Pick: Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’

This evergreen shrub, commonly called winter creeper, sports year-round variegated foliage.

Great Plant Pick: Picea orientalis ‘Skylands,’ golden Caucasian spruce

This tree’s needles emerge vivid yellow; then, gradually, the striking conifer becomes softly gilded.

Great Plant Pick: Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata,’ Irish yew

This conifer was discovered in Ireland in 1780 and has been a favorite for formal hedges ever since.

Great Plant Pick: Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gold Bar,’ variegated maiden grass

This is a maiden grass is a showstopper with dramatic gold stripes that cut across the grass blades.

Great Plant Pick: Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna ‘Purple Stem’

The inconspicuous flowers of “Purple Stem” sweet box bring an impressively sweet scent in wintertime.

Great Plant Pick: Yucca filamentosa ‘Bright Edge,’ variegated yucca

This vase-shaped shrub stands out in any border or as a specimen container plant.

Great Plant Pick: “Sekkan Sugi” golden Japanese cedar

This tree is a standout when planted with gray- or blue-needled conifers or purple foliage plants.