Outstanding Qualities

A tough and durable groundcover, Epimedium x rubrum has proven to be a great garden plant. In late March small, star-shaped, rose-red flowers dance on the ends of thin, wiry stems about one foot high. As the flowers finish there is an explosion of striking, red-flushed foliage. This red is most intense on plants grown in full sun. Barrenwort’s leaves mature to shiny, bright green and remain attractive throughout the growing season. Once established, it requires minimal amounts of water during the summer, making it ideal for a woodland garden or perennial shade border. Combine this handsome perennial with Solomon’s seal, maidenhair fern, flowering currant and Pieris japonica.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: semi-evergreen

Plant Height: 1 ft. 4 in. (0.40 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Flower Color: red

Sun/Light Exposure: light to dappled shade

Water Requirements: occasional water during the driest periods of summer

Wildlife Associations: bees

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: black, silver, gold

Great Color Partners: dark green, variegated, chartreuse

Epimedium x rubrum

  • Attributes: Genus: Epimedium Family: Berberidaceae Life Cycle: Perennial Recommended Propagation Strategy: Division Country Or Region Of Origin: Europe Wildlife Value: Deer and rabbit resistant Dimensions: Height: 0 ft. 8 in. – 1 ft. 2 in. Width: 1 ft. 0 in. – 2 ft. 4 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits: Plant Type: Ground Cover Leaf Characteristics: Deciduous Semi-evergreen Habit/Form: Clumping Growth Rate: Medium Maintenance: Low
  • Cultural Conditions: Light: Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight) Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours) Soil Texture: Clay High Organic Matter Loam (Silt) Sand Shallow Rocky Soil pH: Acid (<6.0) Soil Drainage: Good Drainage Moist Occasionally Dry Available Space To Plant: 12 inches-3 feet NC Region: Coastal Mountains Piedmont Usda Plant Hardiness Zone: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Flowers: Flower Color: Cream/Tan Red/Burgundy White Flower Inflorescence: Raceme Flower Value To Gardener: Showy Flower Bloom Time: Spring Flower Shape: Star Flower Petals: 4-5 petals/rays Flower Size: < 1 inch Flower Description: Stalks of bright crimson and creamy white flowers are borne in pendulous racemes in spring. Red sepals surrounding the creamy petals.
  • Leaves: Leaf Characteristics: Deciduous Semi-evergreen Leaf Color: Gold/Yellow Green Pink Red/Burgundy Leaf Value To Gardener: Showy Deciduous Leaf Fall Color: Red/Burgundy Leaf Type: Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately) Leaf Shape: Cordate Ovate Leaf Margin: Entire Hairs Present: No Leaf Length: 1-3 inches Leaf Width: 1-3 inches Leaf Description: 3-inch long compound, medium green leaves with pointed, heart-shaped leaflets on wiry stems. New growth has reddish tinge and fall color is reddish. Forms an attractive mound.
  • Stem: Stem Color: Green Pink Red/Burgundy Stem Is Aromatic: No
  • Landscape: Landscape Location: Walkways Woodland Landscape Theme: Drought Tolerant Garden Rock Garden Design Feature: Border Resistance To Challenges: Deer Drought Rabbits

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