There are some plants (okay, a lot of plants) that I consider "must haves" in the garden and this is one of them. Kerria, also known as the "Yellow Rose of Texas" or the "Easter Rose" is simply a wonderful shrub, easy to grow, and it has never failed me. In fact, a few weeks ago when it started to bloom, I wondered if it would meet the same fate as the Yoshino Cherries and the Alabama Snow Wreath - the week-long temperatures of 80+ degrees did them in and their blooms only lasted a few days. A sad disappointment, but the Kerria stood its ground and it is still beautiful. It blooms for a long time and is always blooming at Easter time.
This is a woodland-type shrub and does well with some shade. I've always been partial to shrubs that have cascading fountains of blooms. Kerria sends out long branches loaded with bright yellow pom poms, growing anywhere from 4 to 10 feet in height and spread. The bright green stems remain green throughout the winter. It will sucker and you can dig these up and plant elsewhere or share with friends. I rarely see this shrub in commercial nurseries but it is easily found in local plant sales.
"Plenifora" is the most common variety and I think it is the most beautiful. It has lush double flowers. "Picta" is a variegated variety and there is a single variety that isn't near as profuse or showy as the double.
Plant it in a semi-shaded location with good soil. Once established it is drought tolerant. After blooming, cut back the oldest stems to the ground to encourage new growth. This is a wonderful heirloom shrub that I highly recommend.