Epimedium 2010

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RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Wow, my Epimedium pubigerum 'Orangekönigin' is already nearly done!  A very short lived bloom for an epimedium, and it was not even close to the first to bloom in my garden.  I have ones that started weeks before Orangekönigan, and are still going strong.

By the way, is Orangekönigin really just a pubigerum selection?

Epimedium 'Orangekönigin'

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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

RickR wrote:

Wow, my Epimedium pubigerum 'Orangekönigin' is already nearly done!  A very short lived bloom for an epimedium, and it was not even close to the first to bloom in my garden.  I have ones that started weeks before Orangekönigin, and are still going strong.

By the way, is Orangekönigan really just a pubigerum selection?

Epimedium 'Orangekönigin'

Heya Rick, glad you posted this, as it is one I've been using for some hybridization efforts, as there are only a couple orange-flowered Epimedium cultivars.    I'm afraid this is not E. pubigerum... I grow 5 forms of pubigerum and it is a very different thing, typically with tiny creamy white flowers, but a couple forms have pink-flushed flowers. 

Your plant is E. x warleyense 'Orangekönigin'.  Epimedium x warleyense is a cross between E. alpinum x pinnatum ssp. colchicum.  E. x warleyense is reputedly sterile, and that certainly seems to be true, but as with many plants reported as sterile, there are times or conditions under which pollen is produced, and I've been attempting to use it when I find it.  While E. x warleyense 'Orangekönigan' is from the same cross, the pollen seems much more abundant and possibly fertile, so I have my hopes in using this to start exploring more orange-color Epimediums.

E. x warleyense is one of the first to start for me, and is still going strong 6 weeks later, possibly because the flowers are mostly sterile thus no rush to create seed pods.  It can make quite an orange splash in the garden.  E. x warleyense 'Orangekönigan' has never made much of an impact here, a couple spikes of bloom each year... that's it.  However, I do like the flower color... so unique, so using it for hybridization.

I post a photo showing the hybrid E. x warleyense growing in full sun, with a haze of orange flowers visible if the winter-battered evergreen foliage is cut off in late winter. The foliage appearing after the flowers takes on deep burnished orange colors (will be green in shade) and is visually stunning, a reason to consider giving Epimedium much more sun that one typically considers.

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

By the way - shouldn't it be 'Orangekönigin' = - queen, not -königan?

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:

By the way - shouldn't it be 'Orangekönigin' = - queen, not -königan?

Thanks Trond, you are correct, I made the corrections.

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 Epimedium are now finishing up their floral show, while a smaller number of later flowering species and cultivars continue.  I have a large backlog of photos, which I'll share in batches as time permits.

1-2  Two photos of my woodland/epimedium garden expansion... bye-bye sod.

3-4  Two more photos of E. x 'Amanogawa'; better closeup showing the flowers with unique color cups and spurs.

5-6  Epimedium ilicifolium - this is a particularly hardy form, a low growing species with narrow spiny holly-like leaves, intersting brown mottled in earlier spring, and just coming now are large spidery yellow and green flowers in horizontally spreading sprays. A neat growing species.

7-10  Epimedium hybrid with davidii, one of my own seedlings that is really cute, with small but chunky bright yellow flowers and deep pink sepals.  The plant shown is 3 years old, it'll be interesting to see how it looks when bulked up.  Very fertile, I shall be using it as breeding material.

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

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Thanks for the corrections and editing.  Especially since these threads are potentially seen all over the world, it is important that we are as exacting as we can be.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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

Today I visited Garden Vision Nursery in charming Hubbardston, Massachusetts, USA, on one of their six "open nursery days" over two long weekends in May, an annual event.  If you live close enough for a drive out to central Massachusetts to visit, there are still 5 days left in 2010 to visit (and buy plants if you'd like), May 8-9, and May 14-16, 10am-4pm each of those days.  This one-of-a-kind nursery has the most comprehensive offering of Epimedium species and cultivars in the world, with numerous introductions by Epi-Jedi Master Darrell Probst.  If interested in more information or a catalog with 8 full color pages, contact Karen Perkins, Owner/Proprietor of the nursery, at epimediums@earthlink.net

It was a perfect dry, sunny, mild (not hot) day, and the epimediums were in full force.  It's getting late, and I'll be posting more photos, but let me leave you with this teaser photo showing one of numerous hybrid seedlings under trial at Garden Vision Epimediums... yum yum eat em up.

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

I am sorry, it is not close enough for me!

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

Continuing series - Part 1: Garden Vision Epimediums nursery in Hubbardston, Massachusetts, USA - Darrell Probst Epi-Jedi Master, Karen Perkins Owner/Proprietor/Horticulturalist.

Garden Vision Epimediums is not a retail nursery in the typical sense, it is a private naturalistic horticultural laboratory carved out of acres of rough and tumble forested hillside in Central Massachusetts, with areas cleared for sunlight and nursery beds. Walking down from a small shaded gravel parking lot to the nursery beds, one gets a sense of traversing frontier logging roads leading deep into the woods.  On the roadside cuts with high and steep enbankments, there can be found occasional choice woodland plants and Epimediums, improbably poked into the bare-earth enbankment walls. Eventually one reaches a gently sloped area, with rows upon rows of high mounded plantings with masses of Epimediums.

The day I visited was during one of two annual Open Nursery Weekends, where visitors can pick up their orders, browse tables of Epimediums and other woodlanders for sale, and the best part, meander through the nursery beds packed full of Epimedium species and cultivars, and hybrid trial beds.

A bit about my photographs. I took several hundred photos, but had to cope with brilliant sunlight, not my preferred lighting condition to capture the delicate beauty of epimediums, as well as strong winds challenging my efforts to get focused images.  I was travelling with a friend, and was scheduled to visit another garden in central Massachusetts that day, time was limited, so I just shot photos using my daughter's entry-level Nikon Coolpix camera as best I could under the conditions. I may go back on an overcast or partly cloudy day and do another photoshoot. 

1-3  Of the most frequent epimediums in the nursery is Epimedium sp. nov.  On a 6' (2 meter) high nearly vertical bare-earth enbankment approaching the nursery beds, I spotted an Epimedium with enormous flowers. Another E. sp. nov!  Comparing the flowers to the size of my fingers, I put the width of a single flower at 5-6 cm across!  It is an evergreen species, with finely spine-edged heart-shaped leaves, the new foliage bright red mottled, and gorgeous big spider flowers of pastel pinkish white sepals, and purple petals shading to an orange-rimmed cup. Wow!

4-5  The other most commonly found epimediums among the nursery rows, is "Epimedium hybrid under trial".  Shown is a nice one with lightly mottled brown-tinged foliage and sprays of plump sugar pink flowers. The strong light was not conducive to good photos, but you will get the idea.

6-9  E. sp. nov 'Simple Beauty' - this is an unnamed new species (awaiting publication) that Darrell discovered in China, a simple leaved form of a new undescribed species that normally has three leaflets.  The most striking aspect of this species is the high sheen on the leaves, the leaves so glossy they look like they're wet, or have been oiled and polished.  Apparently it is a very good parent in hybridization efforts to pass along the shiny leaf characteristic.  The flowers are large chartreuse yellow spiders with incurved spurs. A 2010 introduction, it is available for sale under the category of "Rarities for Breeders and Collectors" for $200.  According to Darrell the simple-leaved form was very rare, with only a few plants found.

10  Walking among rows upon rows of epimedium cultivars, many of which I grow, it is not uncommon to come across something new... my eye caught a patch of beautiful coppery-red leaves delicately suspended and glowing in the sunshine, labelled E. sempervirens 'Japonica Magnifica'.

To be continued...

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

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

One of the harder to find Epimedium varieties is E. grandiflorum f. flavescens 'Nanum'.  It is slower to emerge than other flavescens types, with the initial flush of foliage showing very small leaflets of an unusual and attractive tan-coffee color, red stems and dropping clusters of light yellow buds (photo 1).  It is growing beside the much larger E. grandiflorum v. flavescens 'La Rocaille' on the right.

In a weeks time, the leaves more fully expand, yet still much smaller than other flavescens forms, turning a lively bright green, and showing delicate light yellow flowers at the periphery of the leaf canopy (photo 2).  Beside it you can see the much larger 'La Rocaille' which maintains the burnished coppery red tones on the leaves.

Photo 3 is a close-up of the flowers and fine leaflets.

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

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