The answer will be largely dependent on where you live. If you call your local Cooperative Extension office, they should be able to help you figure out what will grow well in your area. (Cooperative Extension is a grossly underutilized resource for all sorts of wonderful information about plants and soil and critters. Unless you are actually taking a class or buying publications, they don't charge for their services and even the stuff they do charge for is super cheap.)
I’m in zone seven — heres some of my favorite perennial shady site choices.
Coral bells, astilbe, pulmonaria, hosta, lily of the valkey, hydrangea are some of my favorites. Be sure to check with your cooperative extension local master gardeners are there waiting to give you advice, they also may have local plant sales, My local MG office of the coop extension has plant sales twice a year. Acquiring plans directly from a local garden is easy way to acclimate to plants vs an imported greenhouse varity from a big box retail store.
Your selections for your situation would depend on your planting zone and lighting situation, colors and textures that you like. In my case coleus will not overwinter and is considered an annual.
A great resource is your local Cooperative extension. These offices are manned by a wonderful team of master gardeners that know your local situation quite well. They can be contacted by personal visit, phone call or Internet. Consider googling up your local extensions office. They are there waiting to lend their expert advice. Volunteering back hours and community outreach and education is part of maintaining the Master Gardener accreditation. Consider helping out the MG by allowing the MG to help you.
There's also email ( submit a photo) Q&A resources that have helped me many times.
Heres a link for your consideration. Hope this helps.
JJ: In shade I've opted for color from caladiums. Works well. Low maintenance.
Heuchera comes in beautiful colors and most are hardy to zone 5.
Whatever you plant, make sure it won't be eaten by deer, squirrels, ground hogs, birds, or rabbits.