What the heck is Stephanandra?

Is there a place in your yard that you want a nice hedge, but not a formal one? You don’t need a formal English boxwood hedge or a clipped holly border, but something to define the space with a wild but still graceful look? Maybe along a fence or the edge of your property? The Lace Shrub (Stephanandra incisa ‘Crispa’) is what you’re looking for.

Stephanandra incisa ‘Crispa’ commonly known as Lace shrub is a dense, mounding, low-growing, lovely deciduous shrub which typically grows 1-2′ tall and spreads to 4′. It features maple-like, deeply cut, brilliant green leaves, up to 3″ long, that turn yellow and orange in autumn. The red-purple to red-orange fall color is very attractive, too. The leaves are borne on arching branches which tend to weep downward and give the plant great form in the winter when the leaves are gone. Its Cinnamon-brown colored stems are apparent during winter. Tiny, star-shaped, yellowish-white blooms appear in loose clusters in late spring. Flowers are striking on close inspection, but not particularly eye-catching from a distance.


The Lace shrub works best as a dense, shrubby ground cover, or a very low hedge or foundation plant. This plant is very useful for erosion control on banks and slopes. It is also Deer resistant and highly recommended for difficult shady areas!

The Lace Shrub forms a beautiful thicket when you plant it in multiples. The arching branches will root at the tips where they touch the ground when soils are moist and organic, so it spreads rapidly. (This habit also makes it easy to root and share with friends!)

The Lace Shrub offers four season interest. The brilliant green maple-like leaves in the spring and summer, the very lovely fall color and the arching branch habit in the winter. Bring this wild elegance to your garden today!


This plant is easily grown in average garden soils. It likes full sun to full shade, but is most successful in shade. Soil should not dry out during the first year after planting. After the first year this plant is quite drought tolerant. Its shade tolerance is outstanding, growing well even in dense shade.

Hardy to Zone 4.