Strobilanthes (Purple Persian Shield)

strobilantheseStrobilanthes is known as Purple Persian Shield. We use it for its silver and purple foliage, which makes a striking accent in the middle or back of any garden or container. The color patterns on each leaf are unique and distinctive to this variety.

Persian Shield is extremely vigorous, so it serves as an important structural element in the garden. It mixes well with other plants because of the silver in the leaf, but the dark purple also infuses the garden design with some extra personality.


The back of the garden is sometimes a problem, because the view beyond it might be awkward or ugly. One solution is to draw a curtain at the back of the garden to hide whatever is back there and to focus attention on the interesting colors and textures in the front of the bed. Persian Shield is high enough, dark enough and dense enough to form an effective backdrop curtain. 

Strobilanthes puts in a strong performance as a supporting player on the stage that you set.


For those of you who like to try new things, we should draw your attention to some Silver Persian Shield that we’ve found. It is all silver with no purple. The leaf is a little smaller, but the habit is a little more upright and open. 

We are growing Silver Persian Shield as a Production Trial but we have released some trays for sale, in case you like to play with new plants the way we do. If you are curious to see what the mature plant looks like, we have a Trial Bed planted for our Field Day presentation on September 19th.


Persian Shield will tolerate full sun, but we like it best in partial sun/partial shade. The purples are more vibrant when given a little shade, and the plant will also grow a little taller with some sun protection. You can grow it in full shade, but the plant will become tall and open.

It’s been around for a long time, but Persian Shield used to be hard to find. Lately, we have seen it become more popular, and it makes sense—it’s a flexible, no-fuss plant that helps lay the foundation for an exceptional garden design.