Epimedium 2013

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

Thank goodness for weekends, with some time to get caught up.

Thanks Gerrit, Tim, Rick, and Lis, for comments on E. sempervirens 'Passion Hearts'. I will have to muster great fortitude to dig up my plant this spring and divide it into little bits.

Rick: I work hard on names; keeping a small book with possibilities. I agonized over a dozen or more names on this one, who knew that conjuring names could be so challenging.  A plant will be stuck with whatever name is given, in perpetuity, so it should be a good one.  There's a recent trend to use kitsch names to make a clever pun, rather than attempting to capture some key characteristic of the plant; I'm not a fan of the puns.

Gerrit: I know exactly what you mean about seeing yet another pink, white, or lilac youngianum; they don't look much different than dozens upon dozens of similar ones.  Heck, I could name 500 or more such lookalike seedlings every year.  And then things get named completely as the result of a mistake, like Epimedium 'Creeping Yellow', or as it goes around now, E. grandiflorum 'Creeping Yellow'. A nursery was sent an unknown Epimedium described as having yellow flowers and creeping growth, but in a case of mistaken shipment, what was sent was a white flowered grandiflorum; e.g. the wrong plant, but it doesn't matter, the plant gets labeled 'Creeping Yellow' anyways!  Google it, many places have this gaffe for sale, for only $10-$14 dollars.

Tim: so much of the focus on hybridization is with flowers, when in fact, there is so much more that plants like Epimedium can offer.  In the record drought year of 2011, I witnessed first hand which epis suffered terribly from the extreme dryness, and which ones sailed through; Epimedium sempervirens is a winner for drought resistance, and as well, superb for foliage, generally much more so that the grandiflorums and youngianums. So, a primary focus for me, is to work with sempervirens.  If you can get your hands on some, they might do very well in your garden, under your apple tree.

Lis:  I know that movement of plants between Canada and USA is easier than overseas, with some Canadian nurseries shipping to USA, not sure about the other way around.  Hopefully more Epimedium cultivars will become available in all of North America, including many exciting ones from the European continent.

As I continue to go through my slides, here's a couple nice youngianum epis:

In these two views we see several epimediums. In the center is E. x youngianum 'Pink Star', an adorable little plant with perky pink and white flowers, and neat spring leaves with a coppery flush. On the right is pink youngianum 'Hanagaruma', purple grandiflorum 'Pierre's Purple' behind, and E. x 'Black Sea' (light yellow flowers) on the left.

 

For sheer flower-power, among the very best youngianum types is E. x youngianum 'Hanagaruma'. It has excellent foliage, small leaflets, and neat "foliage build", low and wide growing. The flowers are in dense clusters above the foliage, a lovely lavender pink. Notice a few seedling babies.

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 can't understand why it is so difficult to get Epimediums in Norway :-\ It is the same 3 or 4 as always have been. So I have little hope of getting Mark's lovely 'Passion Hearts' here :(

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

gerrit
gerrit's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-04-03

Hoy wrote:

I can't understand why it is so difficult to get Epimediums in Norway :-\ It is the same 3 or 4 as always have been. So I have little hope of getting Mark's lovely 'Passion Hearts' here :(

Ah, Trond, not only you, I'm sure that I'll never admire it in my own garden.

Allison
Allison's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-04-08

That's about the situation here, too. Nurseries all carry the same 2-3 varieties, because they all get their stock from the same wholesalers.

I'm wondering if the wholesalers might not be very happy to have more choice of good Epimediums? Your new one could be just what they need!

I have 3 varieties in my garden. Two are wedged into rock crevices and seem very happy there. I planted them below the crevices but they kind of climbed into them. They look great  hanging down and seem very healthy. The third one has been annoying me a bit. It spread across some Trillium recurvatum, with a bad effect on said Trillium. Now I'll take the trouble in the spring to lift the Epimedium and re-plant it a bit further away. Or else dig out the Trilliums, one or the other. Sorry I don't know the names of the Epimediums; everything, especially labels, is covered in several feet of ice/snow. The two on the rock face both have soft yellow flowers although the plants are not the same, the other one is white. I like the way they look 'right' in a native plants garden.

Gardening on a wooded rocky ridge in the Ottawa Valley, Canada. Cold winters (-30C) and hot, humid summers. Nuts about native plants, ferns, pottery, my family, and Border Collies.

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

Lis, you have a couple options for pimedium sources in Canada:

From the first page of this topic:
Thimble Farms Nursery - British Columbia, Canada, they do ship to the US & Canadian provinces
Excellent affordable list of Epimedium, including the new 'Atlas' from Free Spirit Nursury, about 55 varieties.
http://www.thimblefarms.com/perennials%20a-g.html

In Ontario, where you live, there is Lost Horizons in Acton, Ontario. In the PDF link below, they list a superb selection of Epimedium, including many of the newer Darrell Probst hybrids and other new favorites, 88 Epimedium varieties in their 2013 catalog.  Unfortunately, they say that they do not ship. I realize Ontario is a big place, Ottawa to Acton is listed at 460km (286 miles) via Trans-Canada Hwy, a 5-1/2 hour drive.  But maybe if you ever plan to visit Toronto, you could combine the trip with some nursery shopping ;)

Lost Horizons Nursery, Acton, Ontario
http://www.losthorizons.ca/dwnld/Lost_Horizons_Catalogue_2013F.pdf

One important thing to know about Epimedium, they come in two basic types, those that clump, and those that run. Some of those that run, can spread as much as 12" a year by underground rhizomes, choose carefully with these.  I prefer those that clump and don't spread aggressively. I like the fact that Garden Vision Epimedium catalog always mentions the spread/clumping characteristic of all those they sell.

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

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

I'm not sure about shipping plants around North America; how about to the UK too! - that list from Lost Horizon's is some list. I think epimediums may be the plants for our garden this coming year and I will follow that advice about sempervirens.

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

Allison
Allison's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-04-08

Thanks for those links, Mark. I am familiar with Thimbles Farms. Unfortunately, this familiarity is as the result of a Negative Ordering Experience..... so we won't say any more. But Lost Horizons in Acton sounds promising. Even if they don't have everything they list (and they warn about this in their catalogue), I'd still find much more to buy than my poor budget would allow. I could drive down one afternoon, stay over, shop in the morning, and drive home. Sounds wonderful! Maybe I'll do!

Gardening on a wooded rocky ridge in the Ottawa Valley, Canada. Cold winters (-30C) and hot, humid summers. Nuts about native plants, ferns, pottery, my family, and Border Collies.

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

Epimediums on YouTube (includes 'Pink Champagne'), nice music too:
"Most popular Epimedium hybrids cultivars and species for gardens, Elfenblume."

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

gerrit
gerrit's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-04-03

Nice pictures in a colourful garden indeed.

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

A very enjoyable way of presenting them! Now if you were in Japan the video would be very long... there must be so many forms they grow there. It is food for thought; a video like that also looking at many other woodlanders and styles of planting would make a wonderful TV programme.

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

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