Some shade-loving shrubs for temperature zone 5 include red chokeberry, Japanese barberry, common sweetshrub, summersweet, sweetfern, gray dogwood, hazelnut, daphne, witchhazel, kalmia, Japanese kerria, privet, northern bayberry, paxistima, mock orange, pieris japonica, rhododendrons and azaleas, black jetbead, fragrant sumac, coralberry, snowberry, yew and species of viburnum, including mapleleaf and arrowwood viburnum and blackhaw.
Sweetfern isn't a fern but rather a deciduous shrub that flowers in the early spring. Besides being shade-loving, it can grow in poor and acidic soils. It also has edible fruit, and the leaves can be used to make tea.
Paxistima, or Canby's mountain lover, is a low and dense evergreen shrub that, like sweetfern, can tolerate poor soil. It's also tough enough to be planted near the seashore.
Pieris japonica is a member of the heather family and thrives in rich soil that's a bit acidic. It can grow to 8 feet tall and have a spread of 6 feet. It's an evergreen that bears long racemes of white, delicate flowers in April.
Black jetbead not only tolerates shade, but it can also tolerate pollution and dry conditions. It can grow between 3 and 6 feet and is named for the black, poisonous fruit that appears in the fall.