Epimedium × perralchicum ‘Fröhnleiten’
This old German cultivar is one of the toughest epimediums for Northwest landscapes. In late winter and early spring, butter-yellow flowers are borne in profusion on dainty stalks. As the flowers fade, heart-shaped leaflets appear, each of fresh, bright green with red highlights between the veins. This foliage matures to green, remaining weather resistant and fully evergreen through winter. 'Fröhnleiten' makes a excellent groundcover, filling an area so densely that it prevents weeds from becoming established. Old-fashioned common names for this genus include barrenwort (for purported medicinal qualities) and bishop's hat (for flower shape). Some gardeners like the name fairy wings, but most just call these epimediums.
Colors & Combos
Great Color Contrasts: black, silver, gold
Great Color Partners: dark green, variegated, chartreuse
Culture NotesThis tough groundcover tolerates a wide range of soil conditions from sand to clay and moist to well-drained. It thrives in light to dappled shade but will tolerate deep shade, although the flowering is greatly reduced. It will tolerate drought well, but if the soil conditions are poor it is best to provide some occasional water during the driest periods of summer. Cut the leaves to the ground in January or early February to allow the new flowers to take center stage.
© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks
Plant Type: perennial
Foliage Type: evergreen
Plant Height: 1 ft. 4 in. (0.40 m.)
Plant Width/Spread: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 m.)
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9
Flower Color: yellow
Sun/Light Exposure: light to dappled shade
Water Requirements: occasional water during the driest periods of summer