a plant that tolerates a certain amount of shade but also develops well in direct sunlight. Shade-tolerant plants include woody species, hothouse plants, and many herbaceous plants that grow beneath the canopy of deciduous species. Shade tolerance decreases as a plant ages and as latitude, elevation, and aridity increases.
Shade-tolerant plants are characterized by relatively low intensity of photosynthesis. Their leaves are distinguished by a number of distinctive anatomical and morphological features. The palisade and spongy tissues are poorly differentiated. The cells contain only a few (ten to 40) chloroplasts.
A number of plants that grow under the forest canopy (for example, Asarum and Aegopodium) are photophilic in early spring, before the leaves of the upper strata have opened, and shade tolerant in summer, when the canopy has fully formed.