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PLANT PROFILE


Kerria japonica 'Variegata' - variegated Kerria shrub

Kerria japonica

Japanese Kerria

Japanese Kerria is a wonderful yet underused shrub for shade. If you have a shaded site in your garden, try this showy, yellow-flowered, early-blooming beauty. Its bright green, sometimes variegated, foliage turns bright yellow in autumn, and its pistachio-green stems provide winter interest. The single-flowered forms are far superior to the doubles.

PRONUNCIATIONCARE-ee-uh  ja-PONN-nih-kuh
COMMON NAMEJapanese Kerria shrub
SYNONYMS 
DERIVATIONjaponica = of or from Japan;  variegata = variegated
FAMILYRosaceae - Rose
TYPEgraceful, arching, deciduous shrub with a dense, twiggy habit
USESaccent plant in shade;  massing in woodland areas or in the shrub border;  foundation plantings
FLOWERsingle or double;  single flowers are graceful and dainty, doubles are showy but heavy- looking;  five-petalled
COLOURbright yellow
FOLIAGEtoothed, narrow, to 4" long, triangular, on arching branches
COLOURbright green, turning bright yellow in autumn;  a variegated-leaf form is also available (see photo at top)
STEMSarching, bright green to yellowish-green, retaining colour for winter interest
HARDINESSZone 4
EXPOSUREpartial to full shade (may become leggy in too much shade;  flowers may bleach out in too much sun)
SOILaverage, infertile to moderately fertile, loamy, moist, well-drained
WATERmedium moisture
HEIGHT5-8 feet
SPREAD6-9 feet
BLOOMApril to early May (some sources say mid-spring into June) and sporadically thereafter
STAKINGno
DEADHEADblooms on old wood, so pruning must be done immediately after flowering
PROBLEMSnone serious:  leaf spot, canker, blight or root rot are possible;  can sucker heavily and become brambly unless thinned regularly
AFTERCAREthin out old shoots after flowering (for renewal pruning, remove old stems to base);
may also require light pruning in spring only to remove winter-killed stems
FALL CAREnone
PROPAGATIONdivision:  easy;
softwood cuttings:  take in July, root in humid, shady conditions;
hardwood cuttings:  take in late fall, burying in soil over winter;   set in garden in early spring
SEED CULTURE 
FERTILIZERoccasionally and lightly;  too much will encourage rampant growth
MULCH 
CULTIVARS'Albiflora':  white;
'Golden Guinea':  golden-yellow, large single flowers;
'Picta':  single flowers, leaves have white margins;
'Pleniflora':  double flowers;
'Shannon':  single yellow;
'Superba':  single yellow, slightly hardier than the double-flowered
CO-BLOOMERS COMPANIONS


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BLUE PERENNIALS    Aconitum - Geranium  |  Iris - Vinca

BULBS    Allium - Hyacinthus  |  Narcissus only  |  Tulipa only  |  Minor Bulbs

BUTTERFLY MAGNETS    Anaphalis - Hemerocallis  |  Liatris - Veronicastrum
DAYLILIES      Spider & Unusual Form

EDGERS    Arabis - Iris  |  Nepeta - Veronica

FOLIAGE PERENNIALS     Alchemilla - Tanacetum

HOSTA    Hosta - all

HUMMINGBIRD-FRIENDLY PERENNIALS    Alcea - Salvia

ORANGE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Tulipa

ORNAMENTAL GRASSES    Acorus - Imperata |  Miscanthus - Spodiopogon

PINK PERENNIALS    Achillea - Lilium  |  Lychnis - Veronica

PURPLE PERENNIALS    Aconitum - Liatris  |  Polemonium - Veronica

RED PERENNIALS    Achillea - Veronica

SHADE PERENNIALS    Aegopodium - Erythronium  |  Ferns - Polemonium  |  Polygonatum - Vinca

SILVER FOLIAGE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Cerastium    |    Cornus - Limonium    |    Lunaria - Veronica

SIMPLY SPECIAL PERENNIALS    Acanthus - Saxifraga

WHITE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Iris  |  Kalimeris - Yucca

YELLOW PERENNIALS    Achillea - Hypericum  |  Inula - Verbascum

VARIEGATED-FOLIAGE PERENNIALS    Acorus - Erythronium  |  Hakonechloa - Lysimachia  |  Miscanthus - Yucca

PLANT PROFILES

Dianthus 'Tiny Rubies'  |  Geranium  |  Geum coccineum  |  Kerria japonica  |  Knautia macedonica

Paeonia tenuifolia  |  Papaver somniferum  |  Rudbeckia  |  Salvia 'East Friesland'

Trollius  |  Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue'

PROPAGATION

DIVISION - SPRING ONLY  |   DIVISION - FALL ONLY  |   DIVISION - SPRING OR FALL  |   DO NOT DIVIDE

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BULBS  |   ORNAMENTAL GRASSES  |   PERENNIALS  |   SHRUBS  |   VINES

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