Epimedium x rubrum

Red Barrenwort

Despite the rather dispiriting common name, Epimedium x rubrum is both beautiful and useful, giving elegant ground-cover and year-round interest in partial shade; it’s particularly good under deciduous shrubs. It’s a deciduous, rhizomatous perennial with a spreading habit. The long, heart-shaped leaves emerge tinted bronze-red, turning light green in summer and colouring coral-red to red-brown in autumn; the old leaves persist through the winter. In March and April, delicate, rose-pink flowers with creamy-yellow spurs dance on slender stems above the mound of leaves. Cut back the old leaves in late winter to make way for the beautiful new leaves and flowers. Red barrenwort holds the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Site: Sheltered
Soil: Well-drained, moist, humus-rich soil
Position: Partial shade; tolerates full shade
Season of interest: Spring to autumn
Hardiness: Very hardy
Height: 1’ (30cm) Spread: 1’ (30cm)

Photo by Nova, cropped, and licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Type | Size: Pot | 9cm
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