July 5, 2020

Glowing in the Shade

Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora'

Janine Pineo Photo - Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora'

One of a kind is Kerria japonica, a shade-loving shrub that is hardy to Zone 4 or 5, depending on your willingness to take a chance. For Garden Maine’s plot of land in Zone 4, it has grown slowly but steadily under the branches of a black cherry tree, flanked by rhododendron. Kerria is a member of the rose family but is the only one of its species, originating in eastern Asia. Its creamsicle orange-yellow blooms can be singles or doubles, with the double ‘Pleniflora’ pictured above. Once established, kerria can put on quite a show in late spring, with flowers blossoming along the branches in profusion next to bright green leaves with sharply serrated edges. For more about this plant, click here to begin reading a two-part series about Janine’s seven-year pursuit of growing a kerria after seeing it while vacationing out in the Atlantic on a little island called Vinalhaven.