Shrubs that tolerate heavy shade include gray dogwood, Japanese kerria, black jetbead, mapleleaf viburnum and coralberry. Yew and laurel are two evergreen shrubs that also grow well in heavy shade.
Most full shade tolerant shrubs flower seasonally. The evergreens retain needles or leaves year round while the other shrubs lose all of their leaves during the winter. These shrubs grow in a range of U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones. Gray dogwood grows in zones three to eight, coralberry and yew grow in zones four to seven, mapleleaf viburnum and black jetbead grow in zones four to eight, and Japanese kerria and laurel grow in zones four to nine.