BARRENWORT: GROUND COVER FOR SHADY PLACES
GROUND COVER FOR SHADY PLACES
Barrenwort is recommended as a ground cover for shady places. If planted in the sun it will also flower. The important thing is that the roots be anchored in cool moist soil that contains leaf mold or peat moss. Barrenwort, a hardy perinnial, increases rapidly when used as a ground cover in a moist area, and also works well in rock and wall gardens where the same growing conditions can be provided. This plant reaches from 9 to 12 inches high and wide, and blooms with early spring bulbs. It will continue to bloom for several weeks.
Barrenwort produces delicately modeled flowers of white, yellow, rose and violet, but it also yields almost evergreen foliage that is attractive after the flowers have gone. The best shaped leaves have rosy bronze tints in spring which become purplish or darker red and remain even into winter. Both flowers and leaves are nice for cutting.
Epimedium Alpinum, with red and yellow flowers, makes a good ground cover. Niveum has attractive white flowers; Pinnalum Elegans is bright yellow.
HOW AND WHEN TO PLANT
The plants should be set out in spring or early fall, 8 inches apart, if you prefer to have them in a mass. Often potted plants are available. Be sure the soil has plenty of peat moss or leaf mold.
CARE AND PROTECTION
Leave the plants alone as long as they do well. After several years they may have to be dug up in spring, separated into smaller pieces and replanted. Old leaves should be left on the plant as protection over winter.