Epimedium 2010

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Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

The Epimediums just keep on coming...

1 - 3  E. x 'Domino' - one one the finest new (2004) intoductions by Darrell Probst.  Of Asiatic parentage, the plant is elegantly clothed in slender pointed leaves, finely soft-spined and tinged with purplish-red as the foliage emerges. The slender panicles of flowers are well presented above the foliage.  Spidery ivory white flowers shading to a deep brooding pink center, set off by dark stems and pedicels, and dark purple outer sepals giving the buds the appearance of shiny black grapes.  The flowers remind me of birds in flight.

4 - 6  E. x 'Sunshowers' - introduced by Darrell Probst in 2008, a cultivar created by a friend of Darrell's.  A cute small growing plant with red-speckled foliage, and spires of plump soft yellow flowers.  Viewed from above gives a slightly different effect, showing the white, finely pink-spotted sepals.

7 -  E. sempervirens 'Violet Queen' -  sheer flower power in this one, a fantastic plant for the masses of large violet flowers and brilliant spring foliage that appears after the flowers.

8 - 10  E. grandiflorum 'Purple Prince' - without doubt one of the darkest purple flowered forms of grandiforum.  Depending on the light, the flowers can look nearly black-purple.  Flowers are well interspersed and visible among the well formed canopy of foliage.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Epimedium foliar color is playing a major role in the garden this spring:

1-5  Epimedium garden seedling with brilliant red and yellow mottled spring foliage.. Yowsa!  This is a hybrid between E. brevicornu with...? ... maybe E. membranaceum or E. stellulatum, probably the former.  Starry white flowers with larger yellow cup... flowering has just started.

6.  E. x sasaki - natural hybrids in Japan between E. sempervirens and x setosum.  Several variants are offered by Garden Vision Nursery, this one (Cc.950183) is my favorite, with blunt, rounded sheild like leaves that are pinkish-red tinged in spring.

7.  E. sempervirens 'Violet Queen' - this cultivar has about the most intensely colored new foliage appearing as the flowers go over, than any other epimedium cultivar... brilliant red with green veining.

8.  E. x youngianum 'Little Shield' - a 2004 introduction by Darrell Probst.  This has quicken risen to one of my top 20 epimedium, making a mat much wider than tall, densley clothed in purplish-brown textured shield-shaped leaves; the perky pure white flowers just clearly the foliage.  A refined beauty.

9.  E. wushanense "Spiny-leaved Forms" - another Darrell Probst introduction from Japan.  While the foliage is evergreen, I cut the foliage off this year to see the fresh young foliage better and to work with the flowers (hybridization) more easily.  The new leaves are long and narrow and spiny-edged, of a unique burnished brownish green color, and remarkably glossy.

10. E. stellulatum - a wonderful Chinese species, one of several that create clouds of small white flowers with tiny yellow centers.  But is is the new cauline leaves that are spine-edged and heavily mottled with red, that gradually expand in size, to become the true show of this species.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Why not "the Epimedium man"?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Hoy wrote:

Why not "the Epimedium man"?

Well, I've been dubbed the Onion man decades ago, it has been more recent that I have gone wild with epimediums.  Besides, the horticultural world correctly considers Darrell Probst the defacto Epimedium man, I just dabble with "eppies". :D

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Thinking about hybridizing epimediums, I pulled some images together. There is so much potential in certain species and cultivars, that it fires the imagination. Seeing what some of the hybrids look like compared to theior parents, gives clues and ideas about what to strive for.  Here are a few that I'm working with.

1-4  E. grandiflorum 'Red Queen' - the granddaddy of grandiflorums, a giant plant that grows much larger than reported.  Just went out and measured it, currently 30" tall x 44" wide (75 x 110 cm), yowsa!  The dense foliar sheath lifts its skirt high enough to see the bounty of rosy-red flowers which last for weeks.

5    E. davidii "Wolong Selections" - variable forms found and introduced by Darrell Probst, from Wolong, China.  Mine is a young plant; has attractive small spiny-edged foliage, and good-sized bright flowers, much pollen dabbing going on here.

6    E. x 'Domino' - another view of this fantastic introduction by Darrell Probst, with the previous mentioned E. davidii off to the left. Gorgeous plant form and flowers, with significant flower power, flowers produced *above* the foliage, seems like an excellent starting point.

7-8  E. brevicornu - has already revealed itself to be a willing parent, imparting boldly colored foliage and good form.  While the flowers are tiny, they are so abundant and clearly presented *above* the foliage, that it makes a grand show in the garden, among the earliest to flower and continuing for up to 2 months!  Established plants make large bold clumps.  Also shown here is a young plant with a smaller bounty of flowers... again, lots of pollen dabbing going on.

9-10  View of Epimedium bed full of hybrid seedlings flowers (3 year old bed).  In the center of the photo 9 is a small yellow and white flowered hybrid between E. brevicornu x E. membranaceum. In photo 10, there's a E. davidii hybrid, with rather small hot pink and yellow flowers.  This year, many of these hybrids are being planted out to see what they look like as established clumps.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Many will be familiar with the tried and true E. x versicolor 'Sulphureum', or the somewhat less common 'Neosulphureum', both indispensible for the woodland garden.  But there are a couple more recent versicolor cultivars, 'Strawberry Blush' introduced by Darrell Probst in 2004, and 'Cherry Tart', a hybrid seedling found a garden in Virginia and introduced by Darrell in 1999.  Also featured in this post is a recent E. x youngianum cultivar named 'Royal Flush', yet another Darrell Probst introduction (2004).

1.  E. x versicolor 'Strawberry Blush' -  The first photo shows how the flowers are displayed in a nodding disposition, which is too bad because it is the front face of the flowers that reveal their charm.  The sepal color is described as "antique pink", and appear pinkish in a color photograph in the Garden Vision Epimediums catalog.  However, as I've grown it, the back of the ample sepals are a pale bisque yellow color with only a faint pink tinge.

2.  Lifting up the flowers shows the sepals to be veined pink on the inside, sporting a large yellow cup and pink spurs, delightful, if only the flowers would hold themselves up.

3-4 Two low-angle views where the bright yellow cups can be seen.  In both photos, the lilac flowers are E. x youngianum 'Royal Flush'.

5  Another view of both epimediums from above, showing the late-to-expand leaves on 'Strawberry Blush' which are bronze-toned. This cultivar is a strong grower.

6-7 E. x versicolor 'Cherry Tart' - the better of the two versicolor cultivars, with more upright panicles of striking pink flowers, individual flowers held in tilted semi-nodding disposition, revealing hot pink spurs and a cup that shades to a bright yellow rim.  The inside of the sepals are finely veined with deeper pink.  So far, seems to be a slower grower than 'Strawberry Blush'.

E. x youngianum 'Royal Flush' - sizzling HOT spring foliage color!

E. x youngianum 'Royal Flush' (top) showing the dark copper foliage and classic form lilac bloom, with E. grandiflorum 'White Queen' in front.

10  E. x youngianum 'Royal Flush' - profile file.  I consider this to be among the finest of youngianum types, making a large full mound of beautiful heart-shaped leaves, with elegant flowers well presented just above the foliage.  It is reminscent of E. grandiforum var. violaceum 'Bronze Maiden', which can be seen in the upper left corner.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

A miscellany of epimediums today:

1.  E. fangii - hardy form.  A rhizomatous spreading species, so I will be moving this one to a place where it can spread. Bronzy spring foliage, yellow flowers with sepals shading to white.

2.  E. fargesii - evergreen basal foliage and tan-bronze new foliage, reflexed white start flowers with small purple petals.

3.  Epimedium hybrid with 'Dark Beauty', showing gold spring leaf coloring.

4.  E. sempervirens 'Mars'- erect red stems and dense clusters of rose-red flowers, which (unfortunately) quickly become concealed under a "shield" of shiny green red-edged leaves.  Makes a tall bold clump.

5.  E. sempervirens 'Mars'- looking "under the skirt :o" to see the flowers, and lots of cute eppie babies below.

6-7. E. x 'Amanogawa'- hybrid of E. acuminatum x dolichostemon, spring mottled foliage, and lovely upright panicles of reflexed white flowers accented with a dark center, brownish-orange cup shading  to yellow spurs.

8.  E. grandiflorum var. higoense 'Bandit' - deservedly popular, having small leaflets edged in brown-purple, and abundant white flowers.

9.  E. grandiflorum 'Sirius' (originally offered as 'Epstein's Salmon') - a pretty plant with soft foliage and pastel pink flowers shading to a salmon pink at the base of the sepals, a fairly unique color.

10. E. sempervirens 'Candy Hearts' - WOW for the foliage display, almost looks like waxed plastic.  Even in summer after the leaves turn shiny green, there is always new foliage sprouting forth in hot pink and red candy colors.  Fairly good flowers of palest lilac, but this one is grown for the foliage.  Fantastic.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Absolutely amazing, Mark! What a pleasure it would be to tour your garden!

Just for contrast, here's the most advanced of my epimediums... E. x versicolor 'Sulphureum'.   ;D

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Skulski wrote:

Absolutely amazing, Mark! What a pleasure it would be to tour your garden!

Just for contrast, here's the most advanced of my epimediums... E. x versicolor 'Sulphureum'.   ;D

This is about the size mine have too!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Well Lori and Trond, you get to enjoy these plants well after they're done here.  Yesterday it was 82 F (28 C) and today it was a ridiculous 95 F (35 C), way hotter than normal, and everything is going over so quickly.  By the way, I have taken some close-up photos of E. x versicolor 'Sulphureum' that help distinguish it from the paler yellow 'Neosulphureum', I will post these soon.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

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