EPIMEDIUM continued
last updated 21/10/2014

EPIMEDIUM pubigerum    
Whilst getting justifiably excited about all the new discoveries, I believe it is essential that the old favourites are not forgotten. Ellen Willmott introduced this one from the Caucasus back in 1887.The creamy white flowers are upward facing which is unusual, held above small bright green leaves.

EPIMEDIUM rhizomatosum Og 92.114   
A remarkable plant where flower stems may be up to 1m tall. The drooping bunches of heavy cream and yellow flowers are produced in May, and continue until September. The long but heart-shaped leaves below these statuesque flowers are deep red when young but retain much of their mottling through the year.

EPIMEDIUM x rubrum
(E. alpinum x E. grandiflorum) The heart shaped leaves are dramatically marked with bronzy red in spring. Particularly good autumn colour. The dark red flowers have a paler centre, and creamy yellow spurs.

EPIMEDIUM sempervirens
Simplest described as an evergreen equivalent of E. grandiflorum, this is a delightful species (yes, but aren't they all!!) Native of Japan, 2 varieties have been distinguished - var. sempervirens with white flowers, and var. rugosum with wonderful rich purple flowers. This is the white version!

EPIMEDIUM x setosum
(E. diphyllum x E. sempervirens) A naturally occurring hybrid found in Japan, very much intermediate between its parents. Abundant sprays of white flowers are held above evergreen leaves.

EPIMEDIUM x warleyense
(E. alpinum x E. pinnatum subsp. colchicum) Again the  heart shaped leaves have a wonderful purple red flush in spring, particularly at the edges. In contrast, the flowers are bright orange with less pointed spurs and a bright yellow centre.

EPIMEDIUM x warleyense 'Ellen Willmott'
Selected by this renowned English plantswoman as long ago as 1509, the foliage is tinted with red in both spring and autumn. The flowers open red and fade to orange - perhaps the most colourful cultivar of E. x warleyense, and certainly something different in this lovely genus.

EPIMEDIUM 'William Stearn'
(E. membranaceum x E. x omeiense) This recent hybrid from Robin White honours the author of the definitive monograph of this wonderful genus. Bright mulberry red flowers with slightly paler sepals are freely produced over dramatically mottled foliage. This has definitely become one of my favourites.

EPIMEDIUM wushanense 'Caramel' Og 92.009 
I have extolled the virtues of the foliage on several of the other Epimedium, but this one is my favourite with rich dramatic red mottling over the long jagged leaves. The name 'Caramel' reflects the colour of the flowers, which are held in large racemes way above the foliage, but it doesn't really do them justice. This is such an impressive plant. 

EPIMEDIUM wushanense Og 93.019 
For those of you who associate Epimedium with unassuming little patches of growth, I say "think again" because this species is truly majestic in its proportions. Mature plants can boast leaves of up to 20cm long whilst the flower spikes can reach 1m, laden with over a hundred large flowers each 5cm across. It is almost too much to consider. This form is densely hairy, with more yellow flowers on almost black stems over olive green leaves.

EPIMEDIUM x youngianum 'Beni kujaku'
(E. diphylum x E. grandiflorum) Intermediate between their parents, the cultivars in this group are fabulous garden plants. Clump forming and deciduous, the lovely autumn foliage colour is a real bonus. Such a pretty plant with the delightful flowers appearing bell like due to their short spurs. Essentially pale pink, they are streaked and edged with darker pinks. 

EPIMEDIUM x youngianum 'Merlin' 
(E. diphylum x E. grandiflorum) This selection has lovely dark purple flowers, which appear dainty due to their lack of spurs.

EPIMEDIUM x youngianum 'Niveum'
(E. diphylum x E. grandiflorum) Not especially rare, just a jolly good little plant! Small in stature, but produces masses of white flowers, and is one of the best Epimedium for autumn colour (orange/scarlet).

EPIMEDIUM x youngianum 'Shiki no mai'
(E. diphylum x E. grandiflorum) A delightful variation on this particular theme with the essentially white flowers suffused with the tiniest hint of pink. I think the leaves are also most attractive with silver veins radiating from an almost star-like beginning.

EPIMEDIUM x youngianum 'Yenomoto' 
(E. diphylum x E. grandiflorum) As above, but pale pinkish-white flowers.

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