As of this moment, Hypericum 'Albury Purple' is in the top 5 of my favorite deciduous shrubs and it is quickly moving up the charts.
Some quick facts for you:
- The common name for this shrub is St John's Wort - of which there are close to 400 species - but, from all of my research, this particular species - Androsaemum - does not have the healing powers commonly associated with St John's Wort name. That would be the species, Perforatum.
- Survives zone 5-9.
- Typical size is 2 feet high by 3 feet wide.
- Prefers full sun to partial shade (although flower production is less in more shaded conditions).
- Yellow blooms are present June to August (photos to follow).
- In colder zones, the shrub may die to the ground in the winter but it will grow back from the roots if this is the case.
- Best bet is to prune this puppy all the way back in early Spring to get the best foliage color on new growth, speaking of which ...
- This shrub's best attribute (in my humble opinion) is it's foliage color (again, photos to follow)
- Red/black berries form in the Fall.
- The shrub got it's cultivar name when it was discovered in Albury Park in Surrey, England.
Here is a shot of the shrub emerging in Spring:
The fantastic, velvety foliage
The flower buds forming
The five petaled yellow flowers with stamens
And finally, the berries
I have used these as specimen shrubs because of the foliage contrast they offer, but would really like to mass them as a ground cover (as if I could find room anywhere) to see the effect it offers.
I urge you to check them out and give them a shot. They grow under most soil conditions and soil types and truly stand out if located in the right place. I will personally be adding more this fall.