Epimedium 2011

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gerrit
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Joined: 2011-04-03

McDonough wrote:

I've shown the following hybrid before from a side angle, here it is from an overhead viewpoint; an E. membranaceum x brevicornu hybrid.
http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?topic=630.msg9257#msg9257
This one shows a stronger resemblance to E. membranaceum, except with the telltale fuzzy stems and pedicels attributed to E. brevicornu. But one can also see, this is a more compact plant with shorter, more in-proportion stems with lots of big yellow flowers... an improved characteristic.  It bloomed well into summer, as most E. membranaceum hybrids do.

This is probably what you wanted to get. An almost everblooming compact plant with rather big flowers. Coloured leaves in spring and a very showy second flush. Now you only have to clone it giving a name and introduce on the web.

gerrit
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-04-03

McDonough wrote:

A season 2011 closeup of E. davidii "Woolong Select", a dwarf form that Darrell Probst introduced that is small enough for a trough, but with large boxy bright yellow flowers; the flowers keep on coming long into the season with lots of rebloom.  I target this one as a stud.

I've seen this one before and wasn't impressed, but now I do. This is one to watch and to hybridize with. You know Mark: as a rockgardener I'm fond of small sizes, and I'm exited by the idea to create, if possible  dwarf-forms at all wellknown E.-species.
Very big flowers in comparing to it's size. It's a natural found hybrid, promisely.

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

gerrit wrote:

McDonough wrote:

I've shown the following hybrid before from a side angle, here it is from an overhead viewpoint; an E. membranaceum x brevicornu hybrid.
http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?topic=630.msg9257#msg9257
This one shows a stronger resemblance to E. membranaceum, except with the telltale fuzzy stems and pedicels attributed to E. brevicornu. But one can also see, this is a more compact plant with shorter, more in-proportion stems with lots of big yellow flowers... an improved characteristic.  It bloomed well into summer, as most E. membranaceum hybrids do.

This is probably what you wanted to get. An almost everblooming compact plant with rather big flowers. Coloured leaves in spring and a very showy second flush. Now you only have to clone it giving a name and introduce on the web.

Well, it remains to be seen with such first generation crosses, while improvements might be seen, I'm in no rush to name every such hybrid... they really must be something of exceptional merit, and must pass a number of years of observation.  Many of these hybrids will serve in further hybridization efforts.

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

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

Year 2012 will be here soon, so I reflect on some of the better Epimedium hybrids showing up in my gardens and revelations of the 2011 season.

First up is a small Epimedium x youngianum type with good deep pink flowers and a broad white stripe down the center of each sepal, very showy.

Next are the variable hybrid seedlings from E. x youngianum 'Liliputian'.  They varied quite a bit, all were nice, but one in particular was extraordinarily floriferous.  I will continue to evaluate this one, but have to say I think it by far the most floriferous dwarf Epimedium I've seen to date, and will earmark this one for division and propagation in 2012.  In te view on the right, several 'Liliputian' hybrids can be seen, including the super-floriferous one.

I selected two seedlings that showed extra-bold-and-pointed star-like flowers, not sure what contributed to the end result, but who am I to argue with the result ;D. Fellow Epimedium aficionado, and frequent NARGS & SRGC Forum contributor Wim Boens dubbed the following plant as 'Mark's Star'.  For the time being, I am referring to this plant as that name (first two photos on the left below).  It has olive-bronze spring foliage and extra spiky pastel flowers, near white with lavender pink edges.  On the right is a sibling seedling that is paler, but with the same extra spiky star-like flowers.

Sometimes one selects a hybrid seedling, just because you like it.  The following one is a small x youngianum type, with lots of small uniquely shaped flowers, most flowers only had 2 sepals, so I dubbed it 'Bipolar'.  I often apply such "working names", not necessarily a name to be used if I were ever to actually introduce such a plant.  It's a little sweetie.

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

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

Part of the process of hybridization is to closely observe the results.  Most of what I show so far represents bee-pollinated hybrids; thus the neighboring Epimediums become very important.  Darrell Probst suggested one way to get worthy hybrids is to plant selected parents very close together, then select the spontaneous hybrids under those plants or sow seed collected from such plants.  One of the more remarkable Epimedium cultivars for intense dark foliage coloring in spring is E. grandiflorum 'Dark Beauty'.  Hybrids from this plant all show a propensity for stunning spring foliage in shades of chocolate and hot toffee.  The trouble with the hybrids I show you, is that the Epimedium neighbors all had pale flowers (E. grandiflorum 'Larchmont', E. grandiflorum f. flavescens forms, E. x sasakii, E. sempervirens).  The foliage is very showy, plant growth is low in their first flush, but flower color is washed out.  Lesson learned.

Now imagine the possibilities if such a plant were crossed with a bright yellow Epimedium, or bright red, or other eye-catching color.  The following 4 photos show such pallid 'Dark Beauty' hybrids with great foliage but lousy flowers.  I hope to rectify this situation.

The following hybrid is being watched for a couple of reasons; it has attractive flowers of inverted color (long and pale star-like reflexed sepals, and much darker petals at the center) and bright red foliage in summer and later in the season that make it a stand-out foliage plant.

And lest we forget the existing varieties, some older cultivars and species are truly superb garden plants.  On the left is E. youngianum 'Jenny Wren', which has excellent foliage, compact habit, and showy masses of light pink flowers.  On the right is plain ol' E. grandiflorum, as sold by Garden Vision Epimediums for a mere $6 a plant... not among the many dozens of named cultivars, but a superb plant in its own right with large and abundant flowers held well about the neat foliage.  Everytime I visit Garden Vision, I buy another of this one, just because it is so attractive yet inexpensive.

Looking forward to Epimediums 2012.. Happy New Year!

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

Many great pictures. It must be delightful roaming around in your woodland, discovering all those treasures. Look at the display in the last picture. That make me looking forward for the spring of 2012 indeed.

First of all, that floriferous E. x y.'Liliputian'. You showed it before. An amazing plant. I agree, this is one to divide and sell.
The one with the broad white line in the middle, very showy indeed, beautiful. Another x youngianum. You called it a revelation. I think, maybe this one is even better than Mark's star
About the crosses with 'Dark Beauty. You seem disappointed about the final result. You had high expectations. Me too. Children of a parent so superb must be fine. Not always, as proved here. You need 2 parents. So Mark, you have to divide your "Dark Beauty" or to move or handpollination. (didn't you do it?)
Do they sell their unnamed hybrids at GVN? almost for free? If so, it seems to me like an 'eppie-heaven'

See you back in 2012, hopefuly you overcome the devestations of the Halloween-storm. (saw the thread yesterday)

Gerrit

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

gerrit wrote:

Many great pictures. It must be delightful roaming around in your woodland, discovering all those treasures. Look at the display in the last picture. That make me looking forward for the spring of 2012 indeed.

First of all, that floriferous E. x y.'Liliputian'. You showed it before. An amazing plant. I agree, this is one to divide and sell.
The one with the broad white line in the middle, very showy indeed, beautiful. Another x youngianum. You called it a revelation. I think, maybe this one is even better than Mark's star
About the crosses with 'Dark Beauty. You seem disappointed about the final result. You had high expectations. Me too. Children of a parent so superb must be fine. Not always, as proved here. You need 2 parents. So Mark, you have to divide your "Dark Beauty" or to move or handpollination. (didn't you do it?)
Do they sell their unnamed hybrids at GVN? almost for free? If so, it seems to me like an 'eppie-heaven'

See you back in 2012, hopefuly you overcome the devestations of the Halloween-storm. (saw the thread yesterday)

Gerrit

Thank you Gerrit for your kind words. 

Regarding the E. grandiflorum 'Dark Beauty' hybrid plants, sorry I didn't make it clear, the plants shown were all from bee-pollinated seedlings that pop up under the mother plant, and due to the fact neighboring epimediums on each side of 'Dark Beauty' are pale flowered, all one gets is pale flowered hybrids.  Yes indeed, I did make hand crosses with Dark Beauty, and those seedlings are only into their first year this summer, so it'll be 2 more years before we see the results.  I too am looking forward to a great Epimedium year in 2012, the anticipation is the best part.

In answer to your question, I don't know what Garden Vision Epimediums does with their excess seedlings.

Looking forward to continuing this discussion in 2012 :)

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

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