One of my all time favorite annuals for foliage is pictured throughout this blog. I took all of these photos over the years at many different gardens. We've grown Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) every year that I've been at RBG and I wouldn't be without it. The foliage is truly amazing and quite hard to describe verbally. This is a perfect example of how a picture is worth a thousand words. I thought the Missouri Botanic Garden website had the best description by saying that "the foliage is an iridescent purple flushed with silver, with a dark purple underlayment broken up by dark green veination." Perfect. This plant is native to Burma and does not enjoy full sun. Ideally, position this plant where it receives afternoon shade. We purchase about 50 of these in 4" pots each spring and they end up around 24" or so by the end of the season. Persian shield does like rich soils that are moist but well-drained. We also fertilize ours every two weeks. As seen in many of these photos, this plant is a great candidate for not only the partly shaded border but the container too.