WHAT: Yubae, an Epimedium grandiflorum hybrid, blooms sooner and for longer than others. Beginning in late winter its flowers appear like large, purple-red spiders hanging from its slender stalks.
These clustered floral sprays are produced well into April. Fresh, bright green leaves emerge in flushes soon after the flowering starts.
Yubae is the original Japanese name of this clone, but it has long been sold as Rose Queen.
WHY PLANT IT: Each flush of new leaves covers and masks the sets of fading blossoms. After flowering has finished, the foliage maintains its bright green appearance until it dies back in the fall.
Yubae is an outstanding perennial for the shade garden, where it combines well with ferns, hostas and hellebores. It can also be used in mass plantings.
WHERE: This deciduous perennial tolerates a wide range of soil conditions from sand to clay and moist to well-drained. It flowers best in open to dappled shade, in deep shade the flowering is greatly reduced.
Provide occasional watering during dry weather. If the soil conditions are poor it is best to provide regular watering. Cut the leaves to the ground in fall once they yellow.
SIZE: This epimedium grows to 1.3 feet tall by 3 feet wide.
LEARN MORE: www.greatplantpicks.org.