Epimedium grandiflorum “Queen Esta,” gets its common names fairy wings and bishop’s hat for its dainty flowers. (Richie Steffen)

Epimedium grandiflorum “Queen Esta,” gets its common names fairy wings and bishop’s hat for its dainty flowers. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Queen Esta,’ fairy wings

This epimedium gets its common names fairy wings and bishop’s hat for its dainty spring flowers.

What: Epimedium grandiflorum “Queen Esta” goes by the common names epimedium, fairy wings and bishop’s hat. The new foliage of emerges a dramatic chocolate-purple color along with dainty flowers of dark magenta and white flushed magenta spurs. The leaves gradually becomes green as the season progresses on this charming, well-mannered perennial.

Where: Epimedium grows best in rich, well-drained soil in light to open shade; morning sun and afternoon shade is excellent. Dappled to deep shade will greatly reduce flowering.

Size: This clumping perennial will grow to be 1 foot tall and 1½ feet wide when mature.

Care: Water regularly – at least once a week – or more frequently for lush, robust plants. This cultivar has deciduous foliage that dies back in autumn and can be cut back any time after that, but be sure to cut the leafy stems to the ground before new foliage and flowers begin to emerge in springtime.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

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