Virtues: Mukdenia rossi 'Karasuba' is a foliage plant for part shade. Its leaves bring great texture to the shade garden from spring through fall. They show red color beginning in summer, with the hue intensifying in the fall.
Common name: 'Karasuba' mukdenia, 'Crimson Fans' mukdenia
Botanical name: Mukdenia rossi 'Karasuba' or 'Crimson Fans'
Exposure: Part shade
Flowers: Arched tufts of small white flowers rise above the foliage on sturdy stems in the spring.
Foliage: The leaves are rounded and maple-like, similar in shape to its cousin coral bells (Heuchera), but the edges are more jagged. The leaves emerge green in spring but take on red edges in the summer. The red color spreads and deepens as the season turns to fall.
Habit: 'Karasuba' mukdenia is a low, mounded herbaceous perennial that grows 8 to 12 inches tall and 12 to 15 inches wide. Its shape is similar to heuchera and hardy geranium.
Origin: Mukdenia rossi is a native plant of China and Korea. 'Karasuba' is a cultivar that was selected for its leaves' red accents.
How to grow it: Plant mukdenia in part shade, preferably where any direct sun will fall on it in the morning hours. It prefers fertile soil with a pH that is neutral or alkaline. This plant does not tolerate drought, so be sure that it receives about an inch of water each week, be it from rainfall or irrigation. Its size also recommends it for a container, which can show off the texture and color of its leaves. This plant can be rejuvenated by dividing the clump every few years. USDA Zones 4–9.
Image credit: Walters Gardens