Plant Family / Epimedium - Barrenworts

 

Epimedium, Barrenwort, Bishop's Hat, Bishop's Mitre, Fairy Wings, Shade Plants, Shade Perennials, Groundcovers, Epimedium grandiflorum, Epimedium versicolor, Epimedium youngianum

Epimedium - Barrenworts

Epimediums (Barrenwort) are rhizomatous perennials with evergreen or deciduous leaves, often showing attractive color in spring and coloring up again in the fall. In spring, open sprays of small, bowl-shaped flowers, often with prominent spurs, hover gracefully on wiry stems above the foliage mound. Easy to grow, Epimediums make handsome ground covers or edging plants. They thrive in partial shade and tolerate just about any conditions. Deer and rabbit resistant, they are useful plants for dry shade.


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Epimedium 'Akebono' (Barrenwort)

Robust and long-lived, Epimedium 'Akebono' (Barrenwort) is a deciduous, clump-forming perennial with a lovely foliage of heart-shaped, pointed leaves flushed red when they emerge in spring. In mid to late spring, open sprays of abundant, two-tone rose flowers dance on the ends of wiry stems above the foliage. The blossoms are a delicate combination of white and palest pink sepals sitting atop long-spurred petals that are deep rose pink with snow-white tips.

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Epimedium 'Amber Queen' (Barrenwort)

Noted for its incredibly long blooming season, Epimedium 'Amber Queen' (Barrenwort) is an evergreen perennial with long, heart-shaped, very pointed leaves mottled with burgundy-red in spring before they mature to bright green. The dramatic foliage creates quite an impact all year long. In mid to late spring, a profusion of large marmalade-orange flowers dance on tall stems (up to 24 in. or 60 cm), well above the mottled foliage.

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Epimedium 'Domino' (Barrenwort)

Very floriferous, Epimedium 'Domino' (Barrenwort) is an evergreen perennial with long, spiny, green leaves that are splashed with bronze. In mid to late spring, a profusion of delicate-looking, large flowers float on wiry stems well above the foliage. They are adorned with sepals and long-spurred white petals that deepen to contrasting purple-red centers. Vigorous, this Epimedium is reported to produce up to 100 flower stems on a mature plant. In satisfactory conditions, it can produce a second flush of flowers.

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Epimedium 'Kaguyahime' (Barrenwort)

Brilliantly colored, Epimedium 'Kaguyahime' (Barrenwort) is an evergreen perennial with a striking foliage of large, pointed, spiny leaves, heavily splashed with maroon-red when young. In mid to late spring, open sprays of abundant, two-tone rose flowers hover on the ends of wiry stems above the foliage. The medium sized blossoms are a delicate combination of large rose pink sepals sitting atop deep purple petals with incurved spurs.

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Epimedium 'Pink Champagne' (Barrenwort)

Epimedium 'Pink Champagne' (Barrenwort) is an evergreen perennial with long, arrow-shaped, green leaves splashed with purple. In mid to late spring, a profusion of large flowers dance on wiry stems well above the mottled foliage. They are adorned with rose-pink sepals and long-spurred deep strawberry-pink petals with pale yellow tips. Vigorous, this Epimedium will repeat flower if grown in satisfactory conditions.

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Epimedium grandiflorum 'Lilafee' (Barrenwort)

Epimedium grandiflorum 'Lilafee' (Barrenwort) is a deciduous, rhizomatous perennial with attractive, oval, pointed leaves that emerge bronze-purple in spring, gradually aging to green for the summer, and then back to bronze-purple in fall. In mid to late spring, open sprays of amethyst purple flowers, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), adorned with long white spurs, hover on the ends of wiry stems, well above the foliage. Though the flowers may only last for a few weeks, the lovely foliage will captivate interest all season long.

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Epimedium grandiflorum 'Rose Queen' (Barrenwort)

Epimedium grandiflorum 'Rose Queen' (Barrenwort) is an evergreen rhizomatous perennial with attractive, heart-shaped, pointed leaves that emerge bronze-purple in spring, gradually aging to dark green for the summer, and then back to bronze-purple in fall. In mid to late spring, open sprays of bright rosy-pink flowers, 2.5 in. across (3.5 cm), adorned with long white spurs, hover on the ends of wiry stems, well above the foliage. Though the flowers may only last for a few weeks, the lovely foliage will captivate interest all season long.

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Epimedium leptorrhizum (Barrenwort)

Noted for its particularly large flowers, Epimedium leptorrhizum (Barrenwort) is a low-growing semi-evergreen perennial with large, deeply veined leaves with white undersides. Emerging mottled bronze in spring, they mature to olive-green. In mid to late spring, large, rose-pink, nodding flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), adorned with gracefully up-tilted sepals and paler shell pink spurred petals rise on wiry stems above the foliage mound. Evergreen south of USDA Zone 7. 

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Epimedium wushanense (Barrenwort)

Impressive, Epimedium wushanense (Barrenwort) is an evergreen perennial with a striking foliage of enormous, shiny, long leaves adorned with dramatic spiny edges. They boast a bronze-pink cast when young before maturing to mid-green. In mid to late spring, sprays of tightly clustered, large, pale yellow flowers arch over on tall, green stems well above the huge foliage mound. A remarkable garden plant for the shade garden, capable of producing hundreds of blooms on its branching stems.

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Epimedium × rubrum (Red Barrenwort)

One of the best Epimediums available, Epimedium × rubrum (Red Barrenwort) is a deciduous, rhizomatous perennial with attractive, heart-shaped, pointed leaves that emerge red-flushed in spring, mature to shiny green and turn red in fall. In mid to late spring, clouds of small, dainty flowers, 1 in. across (2 cm), hover on the ends of wiry stems just above the foliage. Slightly spurred, their large rosy-red sepals cover snowy-white petals and contrast nicely with the creamy-yellow stamens.

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Epimedium × versicolor 'Sulphureum' (Barrenwort)

One of the best cultivars available, Epimedium × versicolor 'Sulphureum' (Barrenwort) is a low-growing semi-evergreen perennial with heart-shaped, pointed leaves that emerge red-flushed in spring, mature to pale green and turn reddish in fall. In mid to late spring, clouds of two-tone primrose-yellow flowers, 1 in. across (2 cm), are carried in open sprays on wiry stems above the foliage mound. Round and large, the creamy sepals cover the butter yellow flowers adorned with short spurs.

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Epimedium × warleyense 'Orangekönigin' (Barrenwort)

Reliable and long-lived, Epimedium × warleyense 'Orangekönigin' or 'Orange Queen' (Barrenwort) is an evergreen perennial making a carpet of heart-shaped, medium green leaves with bold red edges in spring. Quite ornamental, the foliage gradually turns mid-green for the summer, before turning bronze with red tones in fall. In mid to late spring, clouds of small, pale coppery orange flowers dance on wiry stems just above the unfurling foliage.

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Epimedium × youngianum 'Niveum' (Snowy Barrenwort)

Epimedium × youngianum 'Niveum' (Snowy Barrenwort) is a compact deciduous perennial with heart-shaped, pointed, mid-green leaves that emerge lightly flushed and veined red in spring and turn bronzy-red in fall. In mid to late spring, clouds of small, starry, pure white flowers are carried in open sprays on red stems above the foliage mound. Perfect to brighten up a shady corner of the garden, Snowy Barrenwort makes a wonderful groundcover for many landscape situations including under deciduous trees.

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Epimedium × youngianum 'Roseum' (Barrenwort)

Epimedium × youngianum 'Roseum' (Barrenwort) is a compact deciduous perennial with ovate-pointed, wavy-edged, mid-green leaves that emerge flushed red in spring. In mid to late spring, clouds of nodding, broadly bell-shaped, soft lavender-pink flowers, 1 in. across (2 cm), are carried in open sprays on red stems above the foliage mound. Perfect to cheer up a shady corner of the garden, this Barrenwort makes a wonderful groundcover for many landscape situations including under deciduous trees.

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