Epimedium × warleyense

hybrid epimedium

Outstanding Qualities

A resilient and tough garden plant, Epimedium x warleyense is unusual among epimediums for its coppery, orange-red flowers, which appear in early spring. Soon after the flowers emerge, beneath them unfurl the delicately divided leaves. Each leaflet is heart-shaped and blushed with red - setting off the tone of the flowers. This foliage matures to green, remaining weather resistant and fully evergreen through winter. Although it is slower-growing than some of the other cultivars of epimedium, it eventually covers a large area, thus making a good groundcover. 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 Notes

This 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

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 1 ft. 4 in. (0.40 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9

Flower Color: orange

Sun/Light Exposure: light to dappled shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering during the driest periods of summer