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Flowers and Plants
Rocky Mountains Gardening
Great Lakes Gardening
Central Plains Gardening
Great Design Plant: Red-Leafed Mukdenia
Creamy white blossoms give way to splashes of scarlet with this energetic, dramatic ground cover
Ground covers fill breaks in a landscape by enhancing and bridging other focal garden features to create a unified design. The colorful and flamboyant leaves of Red-Leafed Mukdenia (Mukdenia rossii 'Crimson Fans') will perfectly complement and accentuate your plantings while infusing a sufficient splash of crimson into your landscape.
Botanical name: Mukdenia rossii 'Crimson Fans'
Common names: Red-Leafed Mukdenia
USDA zones: 4 to 9
Water requirement: Regular watering
Light requirement: Afternoon shade
Mature size: 1 to 3 feet tall, 1 to 3 feet wide
Tolerances: Moist soil, acidic soil, most pests
Distinguishing traits: Mukdenia boasts large and colorful fan-shaped leaves that energetically spread and cascade along the landscape. Leaves emerge in early spring a deep bronzy green, hinting at its seasonal coloring.
Creamy white flowers bloom in late winter or early spring soon after leaves emerge. After several weeks of blooming, the leaves begin their dramatic colorful transition.
A vivid burgundy begins at the tips of Mukdenia's leaves and quickly spreads to the rest of the foliage, persisting though the growing season.
How to use it: Mukdenia makes dramatic statement as a ground cover in a woodland garden. Its lush, colorful foliage complements and contrasts other landscape features throughout the year with the evolution of its colors signaling the changing seasons. If using as a ground cover, plant 2 to 3 feet apart.
If space or growing conditions prohibit an expansive ground cover, plant Mukdenia in a pot instead. It divided easily, and its red-tipped foliage and creamy white flowers enhance any decorative planter, as seen in this arrangement by Banyon Tree Design Studio.
Planting notes: Original to woodland settings, Mukdenia prefers soil rich in organic matter that sustains a certain amount of constant moisture. Follow a weekly watering schedule, at least at first, to establish a solid root system. As an understory plant, Mukdenia will happily sustain shade, but be wary that too much can inhibit the red color for which it is known. Mukdenia is slow growing, but it is a resilient and easy plant to grow that will awaken any tired garden.
More great design plants:
Blue Chalk Sticks | Hens-and-Chicks | Redtwig Dogwood | Toyon
Great design trees:
Bald Cypress | Chinese Witch Hazel | Japanese Maple | Manzanita | Persian Ironwood
Smoke Tree | Texas Mountain Laurel | Tree Aloe
Great design flowers:
Catmint | Golden Creeping Jenny | Pacific Coast Iris | Plumbago | Red Kangaroo Paw
Sally Holmes Rose | Slipper Plant | Snake Flower
Great design grasses:
Black Mondo Grass | Cape Rush | Feather Reed Grass | New Zealand Wind Grass
Ideabook updated on March 6, 2012.
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