Tired of just Hostas in the shady areas of your garden?  This spring flowering, clump forming, carpet perennial will give your shade a burst of colour.  So what’s this wonderful plant called?? Epimedium (aka barrenwort, bishops hat or fairy wings)
The heart or arrow shaped leaves with red markings produce dainty flowers of either red,pink, white, purple or yellow flowers that resemble orchids or butterfly wings.
Epimedium are very easy to care for. Mediterranean varieties are often evergreen but asian types die back in the winter. Fall foliage may turn red, yellow and bronze. They are great for dry rocky soils and once established are drought tolerant. Plant these beauties under trees with dappled or full shade, but not in full sun or soggy areas. Epimedium grows in zones 5-8 and are usually pest and disease resistant.
New leaves in the spring emerge with a red tinge , mature to green and turn red in the fall. Adding compost or leaf mold yearly is also ideal helping this plant  fill in spaces with its woody rhizomes that aren’t invasive. Next time your in the garden centre try looking for these beauties, you wont be disappointed.

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