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Barrenwort is a rare plant -- one that thrives in the dry shade beneath shallow-rooted trees! It spreads at a moderate rate, forming a graceful, dense groundcover. Almost as a bonus, it also produces dainty flowers shaped like a bishop's miter -- prompting another common name, bishop's cap. Its colorful foliage dangles on slender stalks, providing yet another moniker: fairy wings.
Part Sun, Shade
Under 6 inches to 3 feet
12-24 inches wide
how to grow Barrenwort
garden plans for Barrenwort
more varieties for Barrenwort
Epimedium rubrum foliage is red along the edges and has rosy undertones. Its color intensifies where it receives ample sun before trees leaf out in spring. Zones 4-9
'Rose Queen' longspur barrenwort
Epimedium grandiflorum 'Rose Queen' has the largest flowers of the group at 1-3/4 inches wide. It grows 1 foot tall. Zones 5-8
'Sulphureum' bicolor barrenwort
Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum' has whitish blooms with a yellow center. Its evergreen foliage grows 8-12 inches tall. Zones 5-9
plant Barrenwort with
Hellebores are so easy and so pretty, they have a place in nearly every landscape. Their exquisite bowl- or saucer-shape flowers in white (often speckled), pinks, yellows, or maroon remain on the plant for several months, even after the petals have fallen. Deer-resistant and mostly evergreen, hellebores' divided leaves rise on sturdy stems and may be serrated (like a knife) along the edges. They do best in shade where soil remains moist; some prefer acid or alkaline conditions, depending on variety.
Perfect for cottage and woodland gardens, old-fashioned columbines are available in almost all colors of the rainbow. Intricate little flowers, they are most commonly a combination of red, peach, and yellow but also blues, whites, pure yellows, and pinks; they look almost like folded paper lanterns.Columbine thrives in sun or partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. Plants tend to be short-lived but self-seed readily, often creating natural hybrids with other nearby columbines. If you want to prevent self-seeding, deadhead plants after bloom.
One of the longest bloomers in the garden, hardy geranium bears little flowers for months at a time. It produces jewel-tone, saucer-shape flowers and mounds of handsome, lobed foliage. It needs full sun, but otherwise it is a tough and reliable plant, thriving in a wide assortment of soils. Many of the best are hybrids. Perennial geraniums may form large colonies.