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Epimediums are plants suited for shady spots in the garden. Because of the many new and recent introductions among the Epimediums we roughly categorised our Epimediums below.
EuropeIn the first place Epimediums gained fame as useful and elegant groundcovers for shade. Some are even know to thrive in drier shade. Those handling drier shade are the east European species and their hybrids.
ChinaMany recently introduced Epimediums find their origin in the humid Chinese forests and their shaded green hills, most of the Chinese species demand a constant moisture in a weld rained soil.
It is often in airy mixtures of rocks and organic substances such as leaf mould, peat, etc. that plants of this group develop into spectaculairy beautiful plants.
Most of the Chinese species keep developing new young foliage trough summer into late autumn, this new young foliage can be coloured with atractice colours varying from bronze and salmon-pink to cherry-red and bordeaux.
In some cases the mature evergreen foliage turns darker during the cold periods, this with tones of purple and red.
Their enchanting delicate flowerbeauty apeals to many, the flowers on their selves are often small but as a whole very fine with colours from purple to pink and yellow these small flowers are caried with tens on lots of ellegant flowerstems.
Epimedium stellulatum 'Wudang Star'
JapanThe Japanese species are a bit different then the Chinese in exeption of one species (E.sempervirens’) they all are decideous, this group includes E.grandiflorum E.diphyllum and their hybrid group named E. x youngianum. All of the Japanese Epimediums prefer rich, weldrained and a slightly acidic organic soil.
Epimedium grandiflorum 'White Queen'
CultureThe last few years Epimediums have gained more fame by shade- and woodlandgadeners . A new generation very attractive selections and hybrids is starting to cause a fresh new wind and is very promising.
Our choice out of the European Epimediums and their hybrids:In the group of Epimediums with easy ground covering characteristics the robust E. x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ with its reddish young foliage (later turning green) and the shorter variant E. x versicolor ‘Neosulphureum’ with its bronze-brownish young foliage are both suited for the humid but also for the more dry shade E. x rubrum which has spectacular coloured young foliage also handles semi dry shade with no problem.. It is best to watch the plants during the first year and in the drier periods give water to encourage the rootgrowth.
Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum'
Our choice out of the Chinese Epimediums and their hybrids:Among the Chinese Epimediums there are differences(difficulty –levels) concerning certained demands and vigour. among the easier we chose E.wushanense ‘Caramel’ with spectacular long narrow pointy leaflets, E. davidii with masses of yellow flowers, E.platypetalum, with open cupshaped yellow flowers, blooming over a very long period E.franchetii (Og.) with a very strong leaves and beautiful colouration of the young foliage E. x omeiense ‘Myriad Years’ a rare form with amazing hybrid vigour and large delicate longspurred flowers . Last but not least there is E. rhizomatosum a quicker growing Epimedium with large, yellow spiders. In normal conditions this Epimedium often flowers into September…
Our choice out of the Japanese Epimediums and their hybrids:Among the deciduous Epimediums E. grandiflorum ‘White Queen’ is a very rich flowered selection which often reblooms in late summer. E.grandiflorum ‘Nanum’ a dwarf selection is problemfree and has a dark band marking the margins of the young foliage. E. x youngianum ‘Niveum’ can be found since 1830 in the European gardens and still is a amazing goodflowering selection .
Epimedium grandiflorum 'Violet Nanum'
Epimedium acuminatum L575
Epimedium historyIn 1830 E. grandiflorum and E. x youngianum are introduced by von Siebold in the Botanical Garden of Ghent.
Between 1844 and 1854 E. x rubrum the first named hybrid between E.alpinum and E.grandiflorum arises followed quickly by E. x versicolor and E. x versicolor ‘sulphureum’ both being hybrids between E.grandiflorum and E. pinnatum. These hybrids stil are today among the best for use as evergreen groundcover.
1909 E. x warleyense is named (Warley, U.K.) a Hybrid between E.alpinum en E. pinnatum subsp. colchicum.
Small amounts of different Chinese species had been planted and described in in late 1800 among them E. saggitatum and E. acuminatum.
Roy Lancaster introduces his wild collections of E.acuminatum in the early 80’s.Later other species and hybrids followed thanks to Mikinori Ogisu, Martyn Rix, James Compton,… Most species scientifially described by professor William T. Stearn and Plantsman Mikinori Ogisu.
1985 Martyn Rix collects seeds from Epimedium davidii in the Sichuan province, China. Back in England he shares these with Elisabeth Strangman who raises them and is the first to offer them to horticulture.
Nursery people known for introducing new Epimediums are Robin White from Blackthorn Nursery eand Elisabeth Strangman from the Washfield Nursery.
End 90’s American Plantsman Darrell Probst started making botanical excursions to China where he succeeded in collecting many undescribed species new to science (E.epsteinii, E.dewuense,..), he also gained allot respect and honour by recollecting and locating several species of which only scientific descriptions or herbarium specimens were left.
Thanks to the recent (2002) published monograph on Epimediums the genus has become much more accessible for everyone interested . Professor William T. Stearn succeeded to complete the book early 2001 just before he died in may 2001.
On our nursery we have been collecting epimediums since the early 80’s.we have found it very fascinating to follow the new introductions in last 20 years,.It has led to a extensive collection. Now the interest of the European gardeners is starting to warm up it’s pleasent to be able to offer these magnificent plants.
The private collection is viewable during our opening hours . In late April we organise a Epimedium and shade plant weekend, there will be a wide range of different Epimediums and other shade loving plants for sale. For 2008 it will be on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13nd of April. The nursery will be open from 10 am to 5 pm. There will be a guided tour trough the collection at 2:30 pm.