Covering the ground in a low mound, stephandra is an excellent border plant to hide differences in surface levels, for example. This many-branched shrub, belonging to the rose (Rosaceae) family, grows to about half a metre in Finnish conditions. It grows naturally in Japan and parts of Korea.
The white flowers (occasionally also red) are not very showy but the small cut leaves with their large stipules make attractive ground cover. The branches layer easily from joints. In good light, stephandra takes on tones of yellowish red in autumn. It prefers some moisture in the soil, and is quite happy in shade.
The more cut-leaf variety ’Crispa’ was introduced in Finland in the late 1960s and is now more common than the species. At Mustila this variety grows well, looking good and also keeping weeds under control.
Stephandra can be grown at least to central Finland, with good snow cover perhaps even further north.