The captivating heart-shaped leaves of Epimedium rubrum are happy in shade, making this deciduous perennial a great choice for ground cover.
Native to Europe and Asia, where it is found in woodland and scrub, this fully hardy clump-forming, low-growing perennial is invaluable for planting under trees.
The star of the show is the heart-shaped, tinted leathery leaves, atop their slender stems. In spring the foliage of Epimedium rubrum is marbled red, intersected by distinctive green veins. In autumn the leaves turn again, to gorgeous yellowy-orange bronze.
Even better, airy sprays of dainty pendulous, star-shaped crimson-red flowers with yellow spurs bloom in spring. The flowers are held above the leaves, on slender stems adding an extra floral dimension to your spring planting.
Related to the Berberis family, Epimedium rubrum does best in shade or part shade, and prefers humus-rich moist, but well-drained soil. However, it will fare ok in the sun and is fairly tolerant of most soil pH. Once established Epimeidum is very drought tolerant, good for hot dry summers.
Epimedium rubrum works really well under trees or in borders in shady spots, showing off its leaves year-round to best-effect.
- Ultimate height 0.5m
- Ultimate spread 0.5m
- Time to ultimate height 2 – 5 years
- Partial shade
- Moist, but well drained humus-rich soil, sheltered position, acid to neutral pH.
- RHS hardiness H7: hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)
- Ground cover and underplanting
- Informal and cottage style gardens in beds and borders
- City and courtyard gardens, patios and pots
- Banks and slopes