Featured Plant for June

June 23, 2023

Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’
Zone 5-9
9″-12″ T & 18″-20″ W
Sulphureum Barrenwort, Bishop’s Hat, Fairy Wings, Horny Toad Weed

Epimedium IMG 6990 copy


There is no secret as to why ground covers are so important: they reduce landscape maintenance, serve as erosion control, provide options for hard-to-grow areas, and of course add biodiversity to gardens; but finding the right possibilities for a specific area can be overwhelming.

If I could recommend an easy, almost pest- and disease-free ground cover for a shady environment with dry, well drained soil it would be this hardy perennial that never seems to let us down.

Epimedium is typically a clump forming perennial, however, when massed it can create quite the border or groundcover. Spreading by rhizomes, this Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ roots can grow over and under existing roots, and through the rockiest soils eventually covering a foot and a half by two foot area. The delicate, airy, stems unfold to a striking, light green veined, cordate leaf with light red margins. The pale yellow flowers emerge mid-spring (late April-early May). Growing quite quick it is best to divide this perennial late summer/early fall.

The Genus Epimedium is known to have over 50 species mostly native to Asia, grows in a variety of colors, is known to have medical properties, and most importantly is resistant to deer and rabbits, making this a great option to add to your clients’ landscapes.

— by Cori Cahow, NHCLP, Organic Garden Girl

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