Mark A. Miller
(Barrenwort, Bronze Maiden Barrenwort, Bronze Maiden Bishop's Hat)
A classic groundcover for dry shady locations, Bronze Maiden bishop's hat's bronze-red, heart-shaped leaves and late spring's flowers of pink-lavender makes it one of the prettiest of the species. A clump forming herbaceous perennial from northern China, Korea and Japan, it becomes a nice robust clump through its rhizomes (underground stems).
Each leaf is made up of about nine leaflets, each being shaped like a heart and having spined margins. When leaves first emerge they have a coppery red...
(Red Alpine Barrenwort, Red Barrenwort)
A pretty groundcover, the hybrid red alpine barrenwort has reddish new leaves, bicolored red and light yellow flowers in mid- and late spring and reddened foliage again in fall and winter. This species was created with the crossing of Epimedium alpinum with Epimedium grandiflorum. It spreads via underground stems (rhizomes) but forms lovely foliage mounds. It is semi-evergreen where winters are cold but mild.
The leaves are elongated hearts or simple ovals and are found in clusters...
James H. Schutte
This ancient plant is flowerless and spreads by rhizomes. Commonly called horsetail, it is a hardy evergreen perennial that consists of fine, hollow, green stems divided by black-rimmed joints. It has a broad natural distribution and can be found growing in temperate regions throughout North America and Eurasia.
Horsetail prefers moist to wet organic-rich soil and will tolerate full sun to partial sun. It can become invasive if not properly contained or maintained and looks best in naturalistic...
James H. Schutte
(Dwarf Horsetail, Dwarf Scouringrush)
Dwarf horsetail is a fast growing evergreen perennial native to North America, Europe and eastern Asia. It is grown for its short green rushlike hollow stems with black bands. Rather than flowers, in late summer and autumn, a small light brown reproductive structure (called a strobilus) appears on each stem tip.
Dwarf horsetail loves moisture and is often seen in impressive colonies in bogs, low, wet soils or in shallow water such as lake or streamside. As it is an indefinite spreading plant thicket,...
James H. Schutte
Purple lovegrass, above its classy green leaves, displays pretty reddish to purpled sprays of flowers and seeds in late summer and fall. This lovely perennial, bunching, warm-season grass is native to the eastern two-thirds of the United States, and parts of northern Mexico. The relatively low, clump-forming mass of light green leaves is highlighted with stems of many small flowers in late summer. The red-purple flowers are lovely en masse on the plant, and will yield burgundy-red seeds. The flower...
Sand lovegrass is a tall bunching grass with a pleasing weeping foliage habit, and tall stems of seedheads that often flop in late summer. A perennial native to a large portion of the central United States, it is usually found in sandy, open woodlands or meadows. The green leaves are graceful and slightly arching to upright, and in late spring, tall stems arise and are topped with panicles, or branched clusters of tiny yellow flowers that turn purplish, eventually red-purple when seeds are ripe....
Dappling the ground with sunny blooms very early in the year, this little perennial from southern Europe and Asia Minor is a delightful garden presence in winter and early spring. Arising on short stems from a knobbly tuber, the yellow, saucer-shaped blooms perch atop a ruff-like whorl of three deeply dissected leaves. They bloom with the first hints of spring, opening their flowers wide in sunlight, and attracting bees with their honeyed scent. The tubers also give rise to palmately lobed basal...
Dappling the ground with sunny blooms very early in the year, this little perennial from Asia Minor is a delightful garden presence in winter and early spring. Arising on short stems from a knobbly tuber, the yellow, saucer-shaped blooms perch atop a ruff-like whorl of three deeply dissected, bronze-tinged leaves. They bloom with the first hints of spring, opening their flowers wide in sunlight, and attracting bees with their honeyed scent. The tubers also give rise to palmately lobed basal leaves....