What a blessing this plant is for the shade garden! In addition to growing well in limited light it competes well with the roots of trees and can grow in areas where other plants can not. Plants may take their time getting established but are worth the wait for the lovely evergreen ground cover they can provide Unique, spurred, columbine like flowers are produced above the compound foliage in spring and can be enjoyed best if the foliage has been clipped away to reveal them. Give Bishop’s Hat soil with lots of organic matter and it will form drought tolerant clumps that will last for years.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Rose to violet flowers ¾-1 ½” long with ½” long spur are borne in tight clusters in spring.

Foliage: Beige-brown 1’ long ovate leaves emerge in spring and turn bright green by early summer. The margins of the 2-3” long leaflets are spiny-toothed.

Size: 8-15” H x 15” W

Light: Part shade to full shade

Soil: Average, organically rich, dry-medium, well-drained.

Hardiness: Zones 5-8

Care: Cut back foliage in late winter.

Pests and Diseases: None of importance

Propagation: Division; spreads by rhizomes.

Companion plants: Iris foetidissima, Vancouveria chrysantha, Vancouveria hexandra, creeping Oregon grape (Mahonia repens), western bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa), solomon’s seal (Smilacina racemosa).

Outstanding Selections:

    ‘Rose Queen’ (crimson leaves; rose-pink flowers)
    ‘White Queen’ (similar with white flowers)
    ‘Lilafee’ (lavender flowers)

Plant profiles pointer

By Karen