Berberis darwinii

Darwin’s Barberry is probably one of the showiest barberries in bloom and has excellent performance in Western Oregon. Deep green, glossy, prickily small leaves clothe the frame of this dense and arching shrub. In March/April the whole plant is alight in chains of vivid orange/yellow pendant small flowers. They come in such abundance as to obscure the foliage. By summer those that found a pollinator transform into blue berries covered in a light powdery bloom. Full sun to very light shade in virtually any soil that does not experience standing water. This Chilean native loves our similar maritime climate and is supremely tolerant of summer drought as well. Typically grows to 4′ x 6′ moderately fast. High deer resistance. Locate out of the path of subfreezing wind (east wind) in Portland as it can burn the foliage in severe arctic events. Recovers quickly.

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Berberis x lologensis

Very cool, rare evergreen barberry hybrid that is naturally occurring in the far southern Andes of Chile/Argentina. Apparently where B. darwinii and B. linearis grow together you can get this lovely huge  evergreen flowering shrub. In early spring the arching stems are lined with pendant flowers that arrive as bright red buds and open to hot orange- both colors are present on the flowers which have the fragrance up close of coconut oil. Large growing arching shrub with kind of a wonky habit. Site it where you can spot the vivid flowers in March and then let this spiny creature fade into the background for the rest of the year. Completely drought adapted but will also take regular water. Virtually any soil apart from standing water. Perfectly hardy to cold. High deer resistance. Very difficult to propagate so we only have this fast growing handsome shrub on occasion. But no one else grows it so we list it. Long lived.

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Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilafee’

Petite deciduous barrenwort that forms compact patches of low green foliage. It emerges tinted in amber and turns to green as the multiple wiry stems support clouds of opalescent lavender flowers. The spurs that radiate out are tipped in white- delicious. Part shade to shade in woodland conditions. Rich, hummusy soil and regular summer water. Blooms appear from late March to early May. Fall color is tawny orange. Completely winter deciduous.

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Epimedium grandiflorum var. higoense ‘Bandit’

We love this little multidimensional barrenwort that pairs fresh green leaves outlined in black in spring while simultaneously producing clouds of star shaped crystal white flowers. A compact smaller growing plant to 10′ tall and with good care spreading to 18″ wide. The remarkable new growth morphs to solid fresh green in summer. Blooms March to May in part to full shade (really doesn’t like sun so don’t fudge it). Regular summer water. Rich, moisture retentive hummus rich soil. Add an annual application of compost and even a  handful of organic fertilizer in spring to increase vigor- give it a good life. Completely winter deciduous. Long lived perennial.

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Epimedium pinnatum ssp. Colchicum

We love this wide spreading and tough barrenwort. Prior to the new foliage emerging in early spring 18″ spikes arise clad in wonderful sulfur yellow almost transparent flowers. The individual flowers are large for this genus. The new growth that follows emerges amber and red before making its way to its green summer hue. Runs underground to form large stands, give it room – or at least expect this. Mostly evergreen- to be honest that foliage looks pretty beat up by spring so we advice removing it in February prior to spring growth. Part shade ( to a surprising amount of sun – if you water and are brave) in rich, deep, moisture retentive soil. Once of the most drought adapted of the genus making due with light summer water- which spurs it to spread. Ground cover under dense tree shade, dry hillsides, woodland gardens. High deer resistance. Long lived.

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Epimedium wushanense ‘Spiny Leaved Form’

Beautiful barrenwort selection of an already beautiful species. Large spiny leaves with a glossy sheen begin in shades of vivid salmon red with darker mottling on new growth changing slowly to medium green by mid summer. A really good evergreen perennial that always looks its best. Evergreen leaves over winter fairly well, and if they get beaten up simply chop the leaves to the ground in February. In March, accompanying the stellar new growth tall spikes of many congest off white and pale yellow flowers seem to pour out between the new leaves.  All in all its a great color coordinated perennial, dynamic and always changing. Clumps expand markedly in rich, moisture retentive woodland soil. Avoid blasting bright sun. To 2′ x 2′ shortly. Moderate deer resistance. Adapts quickly to dry shade conditions.

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Epimedium x ‘Aurora’ (Xera)

One of our selections of a hybrid barrenwort with stunning sunset colored flowers for a long period in spring and often into early summer.  Pendant star shaped flowers are orange and red with white tipped spurs. Easy to grow evergreen clumping perennial for part shade to shade. Rich, moisture retentive soil with consistent summer water. Mulch annually with compost to drive vigor, health. New foliage emerges amber with darker red flecks throughout before settling in to medium green in summer. To 14″ x 14″.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Epimedium x ‘Domino’

Can’t help but love the excellent performance of this exceptional barrenwort. From pretty scimitar shaped green leaves rise wiry stems supporting clouds of star shaped flowers. The center of each flower is plum colored and the extending spurs are crystal white for a great bicolor effect. Extraordinarily long blooming from March well into summer- and sometimes longer if it feels like the weather has been perfect. Semi-evergreen to evergreen but we heavily advocate cutting the whole thing to the ground in February to make way for a fresh new year. New foliage is heavily mottled in red before settling to mid green. Part shade (open north exposure like the cool north side of your house is fantastic too) to shade in rich, well drained soil with consistent summer moisture. Spreads to several feet wide in several years. A truly great, long lived Epimedium that is very pretty all around. Moderate deer resistance.

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Epimedium x ‘Golden Treasure’

One of our very best Epimedium introductions. Incredibly floriferous hybrid with golden yellow almost shiny flowers with a bright red cap on top. They appear in clouds above the foliage from March to June. New foliage is amber colored before settling in maturity to soft green. Evergreen but we think it looks much better if you remove the tattered foliage from the previous season in February- cut it to the ground to make way for a fresh new season. Blooms very heavily and they are vivid enough to spot from a distance. Vigorous clumping perennial for part shade to shade in rich, well drained hummusy soil. Regular summer water will spur repeat bloom  but once established it easily endures summer drought. Avoid hot sun. to 20″ tall in bloom making a clump about as wide. Moderate deer resistance.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Epimedium x ‘Hinode’

Our own selection of a barrenwort with amazing sunset colored flowers. In fact ‘Hinode’ is Japanese for sunrise. The orange/red/pink/yellow adorable nodding flowers are born above the foliage on slender wiry stems. Blooms March-May. New foliage is mottled in amber and madder red before settling to medium green. Evergreen selection. Remove the winter tattered leaves in February prior to new growth. Clump forming to 1′ wide after 5 years. Full shade to part shade, not fussy about soil- avoid compacted dry clay soils. Regular summer water increases growth and maintains the plants luster. Woodland wonder.

Xera Plants Introduction

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