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Made for the Shade – Epimedium (Barrenwort)

Use the versatile shade tolerant Barrenwort as a colorful groundcover, in rock gardens, natural spaces and any mixed planting bed.

This beauty, also known as Epimedium, provides four seasons of interest. The green leaves emerge in spring with a red tinge. This is also when the white, yellow or red blooms begin.  The flowers fade, but the heart shaped leaves on wiry stems provide texture in the garden. In fall, the leaves turn red and some persist over winter.

These plants are hardy in zones 4 to 8. They thrive in moist organic soils and full to partial shade. I have seen these plants pushed into full sun and drier conditions and still thrive. They will scorch under extended drought, so water as needed.

Epimedium are slow to establish, so plant them 12 inches apart for quick fill. Once they get growing they make a great groundcover.

A bit more information: These make a good groundcover under trees. Once established, they will tolerate the dry shade found under maples, oaks and other trees with dense canopies.