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Herbaceous Perennial

Epimedium 'William Stearn'

barrenwort 'William Stearn'

A clump-forming rhizomatous perennial 18-30cm high, with evergreen leaves divided into heart-shaped leaflets which emerge mottled and splashed with dark red and mature to green, and very dark red flowers with pale pink spurs tipped with yellow, in spring; Epimedium leaves may be used for their nests by leaf-cutting bees

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Pink Red Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Berberidaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Epimedium are rhizomatous perennials with evergreen or deciduous, ternately or pinnately divided leaves, and open sprays of small, bowl-shaped flowers, often with prominent spurs, in mid to late spring

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in partial shade, with shelter from cold, drying winds; where frosts are prolonged or severe, spread an organic mulch such as leaf mould or composted bark to protect plants over winter

Propagation

Propagate by division in autumn or after flowering; or by root cuttings of rhizomes, kept under glass in winter, and planted out after all danger of frost has passed

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Banks and slopes
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Ground cover
  • Garden edging
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

No pruning required, but cutting back in late winter or early spring, before flower spikes form, will improve appearance

Pests

May be affected by vine weevil

Diseases

May be affected by mosaic virus diseases and fungal leaf spots

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