Epimedium 'Ninja Stars' PP 29,744

Ninja Stars Fairy Wings

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Item #: 15561

Zones: 5a to 8b, at least

Dormancy: Evergreen

Height: 15" tall

Culture: Part Sun to Light Shade

Origin: Hybrid

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

Epimedium 'Ninja Stars' is a 2016 Darrell Probst/Cobblewood introduction that has proven to be an outstanding performer in our trials. Darrell used genetics from Epimedium 'Spine Tingler' and another yet un-named species he discovered in Sichuan, to create this larger (15" tall x 3' wide) and much more vigorous evergreen fairy wing. The very narrow, spiny-edged foliage that clothes this architectural clump emerges solid bronze, before again to olive. The clumps are topped, starting for us in late March with short spikes of small, but vivid yellow flowers held above the foliage. Epimedium 'Ninja Stars' is a nice spreader that will form a superb groundcover in the woodland garden, so be sure to locate it far enough from less vigorous specimens, less they be assassinated. We propagate our own plants, but evidently some incorrectly named plants showed up from overseas, so be sure you purchase from a source that has the knowledge to correctly verify the id.


Epimediums require very little maintenance. To keep them looking their best the old foliage needs to be removed. This is a tidiness issue and not a health of the plant issue. Their floral display is much more appealing if old foliage removal is completed before they bloom. Epimediums are either deciduous or evergreen. The foliage of deciduous types can be removed as soon as it becomes unsightly, which is usually after a frost in the fall kills the foliage. The foliage of evergreen epimedium can remain attractive all winter. Indeed this foliage is sometimes still attractive come spring. Yet it is still strongly advised that this now year-old foliage be removed before new growth is produced. The new growth, including flower stalks, is very fragile and this is why it is best to remove the previous year's foliage before new growth starts so as to prevent damage to the new growth. One might be tempted to leave last years foliage if it is still attractive at this time but be advised that it will die away come spring and by then if is a very tedious job to remove each leaf, leaf by leaf.

The removal of spent flower stalks can improve the appearance of the foliage display and prevent unwanted seedlings.

Epimedium do not need regular division. Indeed they might never really need division, but can be divided if one wants to have more. Clumping ones can be dug and divided into smaller clumps. Spreading types can be dug and individual rhizomes replanted to expand the display.

Growing Conditions:

Epimedium are shade plants and want average soil. They are more tolerant of dry shade than many other plants.

Natural Impact:

Most Epimedium are spring bloomers and as such add much to the spring display in shade gardens. A few continue to bloom for an extended time. The foliage is most often an ornamental feature with its graceful form held aloft to wiry stalks. Some leaves have saw-toothed edges to the leaves. Spreading types make good small scale groundcovers.