Epimedium 'Yubae'
Common Name: bishop's hat
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Berberidaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Purple red with white tipped spurs
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Heavy Shade, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, acidic, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers loose, organically rich loams with consistent moisture in part shade (sun-dappled or morning sun). Foliage will usually burn in full afternoon sun. Tolerates full shade. Also tolerates drought and dry shade (rhizomes hold moisture) once established. Intolerant of alkaline soils. Clumps spread somewhat slowly but will form attractive colonies over time.

'Yubae' is deciduous in USDA Zones 5-7. Although semi-evergreen south of Zone 7, foliage still tends to disappear on its own by spring. Any foliage that does survive winter should be cut back in late winter prior to emergence of new growth. Propagate by division in early spring or fall.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Epimedium is a genus of 20-30 species of evergreen and deciduous, rhizomatous perennials from the Mediterranean to East Asia. Many make excellent groundcovers for shady areas. Epimediums have a number of common names, including barrenwort, bishop’s hat, bishop’s mitre and fairy wings.

Genus name is of unclear origin and meaning but the Greeks used epimedion for a very different plant.

'Yubae', synonymous with 'Rose Queen', 'Crimson Queen' and 'Crimson Beauty', is a dense, rhizomatous, clump-forming, deciduous perennial that features spidery purple-red flowers (each 1 1/4" wide) with long white-tipped spurs which bloom in sprays above the foliage in spring (April-May) atop flowering stems rising to 12-18" tall. Plants spread to 24" or more over time. Compound leaves are both basal and cauline and either biternate or triternate. Narrow ovate to broad ovate leaflets (to 2-4” long) have spiny-toothed margins, cordate bases and acuminate to acute tips. New leaves emerge in spring with a beige to bronze cast but quickly mature to medium green.

'Yubae' is considered to be a hybrid, but is sometimes listed as a cultivar of E. grandiflorum. 'Yubae' is the Japanese cultivar name given to this plant prior to its arrival in the West.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Mosaic virus (transmitted by aphids) is the main disease problem.

Garden Uses

Ground cover or edger for shady areas with tolerance for dry shade once established. Mass in woodland gardens, wild gardens or naturalized areas. Also effective in partially shaded areas of rock gardens and border fronts. Grows well under trees. Edger for paths and walkways.