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Bishop’s Hat

Category:

Delicate shooting star-like cherry-red flowers; heart-shaped green leaves have reddish overtones in spring and fall; makes a great groundcover that is tolerant of dry shade once established; also grows well in moisture if well-drained

Characteristics

Species:
x rubrum
Other Species Names:
Red Barrenwort, Bishop's Hat, Fairy Wings
Average Landscape Height:
12 inches
Average Landscape Width:
18 inches
Genus:
Epimedium
Branching:
herbaceous
Evergreen:
1
Plant Form:
spreading
Canopy:
closed
Density:
dense
Growth Rate:
medium
Pruning:
spring cleanup
Spacing:
15 inches
Flower Color:
cherry red
Flower Form:
star
Flower Period:
from mid to late spring
Summer Foliage Color:
green
Fall Color:
burgundy
Maximum Light:
partial shade
Minimum Light:
shade
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Minimum Moisture:
dry
Pollution Tolerance:
medium

Ornamental Features

Bishop's Hat's attractive heart-shaped leaves emerge dark red in spring, turning green in color with distinctive brick red edges on a plant with a spreading habit of growth. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous burgundy in the fall. It features delicate nodding cherry red star-shaped flowers rising above the foliage from mid to late spring.

Landscape Attributes

Bishop's Hat is a dense herbaceous evergreen perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

Planting & Growing

Bishop's Hat will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 15 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an evegreen perennial, this plant will typically keep its form and foliage year-round.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Bishop's Hat is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

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