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The Plant Guide

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American barrenwort

Vancouveria hexandra

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This attractive, easy-care, 6- to 8-inch semi-evergreen groundcover boasts leaves that emerge bright green, then darken with age, creating a two-toned effect. In mid- to late spring, distinctive white blooms dangle on wiry stems, resembling an umbrella blown inside-out by a sudden gust of wind. The flower’s stamens jut forward like a beak.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsThis native of the mixed deciduous and coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest creeps through the forest litter. It spreads quickly but discreetly to form a lacy carpet. It is best used to fill the gaps between taller plants.

CareProvide humus-rich soil in light to full shade. In spring, cut away any winter-burned foliage to make way for new growth.

PropagationDivide in spring.

ProblemsVine weevil.

  • Genus : Vancouveria
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Late Spring, Spring
  • Uses : Ground Covers
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Light : Partial Shade to Full Shade
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Growth Rate : Slow
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Flower Color : White
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