Epimedium 2011

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

gerrit wrote:

A view on Epimedium x omeiense 'Akane' in my garden. Picture 1 and 2.

On picture 3 the same plant, but together with E. 'Amanogawa'. Two stunners in one view.

Number 4 "Amanogawa' in close-up.

Gerrit, Epimedium x omeiense 'Akane' is yet another one on my "wish list", love the color on that one, and the flowers display pretty well too.  Last year I moved and divided my largish plant of E. 'Amanogawa' into three pieces.  One is ready to flower, another is just beginning to emerge, the third shows no signs of emergence yet!?!  Maybe I divided it too late in the season, and with last year's summer long drought, perhaps I have lost one of the divisions.  I'll be patient, it still may emerge late.

E. mikinorii is another that I don't have, can't recall ever seeing it listed here in the US.  I know what you mean, some of the asiatic species have this tendency to hide their down-facing blooms under the leaves.  I feel somewhat the same about E. epsteinii, but I think I'm just going to try to figure out a spot where I can plant it up high on an embankment, so that I can better see the flowers.  Here are some shots.  From above, the flowers are mostly visible, looking like pure white flowers with those extra wide sepals.  From a low angle one can appreciate the beautiful dark earthy brown-pink centers.  It took a long time to get established, but is now starting to run a little bit.

From above:

From a low side angle (notice the Jeffersonia dubia seedlings in the right-hand photo):

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

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

macjon wrote:

I ordered one earlier this spring and now have a lovely 'Night Mistress' in hand.  (I also splurged on a E. wushanense 'Spiny Leaf Form' after seeing your spectacular pictures!)

Macjon, I meant to say, just noticing that your message was your first message on the forum... a hearty WELCOME to the NARGS Forum.  I see that you are close by, living in eastern Massachusetts.  Ever get to visit Garden Vision Nurseries out near the center of the State, during one of their open-nursery days?  Tell us about your experience with Epimediums.

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

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

Now the fun begins, watching a new season unfold, and my selected 4 year old hybrids... to watch how they perform.  And already, some one and two year hybrid seedlings are starting to bloom.  In the past, I showed several hybrid seedlings from E. x youngianum 'Liliputian', one of which is the smallest Epimedium with pure white flowers.  I have narrowed down the seedling plants to about 8-10 that show some interesting variation.

E. x youngianum 'Liliputian' itself is only just emerging, at least a week or two behind the hybrids.  The hybrid plants are mostly earlier blooming.  The best and most dwarf one, is budded up, but needs another week before I can show it.  Here are three hybrids of interest that are flowering now, and already, one is showing to be much better than the others.

View of three E. x youngianum 'Liliputian' seedlings, notice the different growth forms: wide loose and spreading on the left, semi-compact, larger flowered and coffee-color-leaves in the center, and dwarf and floriferous on the right.

Same progression, left: wide, loose and spreading, center: larger flowered & coffee leaves, right: dwarf and ultra floriferous

Two more views of the dwarf ultra floriferous one.

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

Mark, when do you start a nursery and mailorder service?  ;D
Very exciting differences in the offspring and although one is as you we see more showy, the other two are also nice. The spreading one for example could do good in a woodland setting.

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

McDonough wrote:

Now the fun begins, watching a new season unfold, and my selected 4 year old hybrids... to watch how they perform. 

Mark, enjoy the new season. Here in the low countries the epimediumseason is almost over. Due to the extreme weatherconditions. We've had a recordhigh temperature in April. 3 deg C. higher than normal. And almost no rainfall.

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

Hoy wrote:

Mark, when do you start a nursery and mailorder service?  ;D
Very exciting differences in the offspring and although one is as you we see more showy, the other two are also nice. The spreading one for example could do good in a woodland setting.

Maybe some day Trond, when I reach retirement age, to perhaps run a small plant operation for "mad money".

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

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

gerrit wrote:

Mark, enjoy the new season. Here in the low countries the epimedium season is almost over. Due to the extreme weather conditions. We've had a record high temperature in April. 3 deg C. higher than normal. And almost no rainfall.

Sorry to hear about the dry hot spell, sounds like our dreadful summer last year.  So far this year, we've had a slow starting spring, and now with moderate cool to warm days and regular rain, it's been a very fine spring, and the eppies are happy.  gerrit, do you grow any of the late blooming sorts, E. membranaceum is nearly everblooming, E. rhizomatosum can go well into summer (sporadically flowering), and E. elongatum is very late to bloom too.

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

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

The flush of growth and bloom on Epimediums has been outstanding, too many things to photograph (now, on weekends only since I'm back to working).  Mt biggest regret is that I had a whole hybridization program scoped out for 2011 if I had remained unemployed, which is shelved until a different year in teh future, maybe when I retire.  However, on the weekend I make opportunistic crosses. ;)

One of the earliest and showiest "eppies" is E. sempervirens 'Violet Queen', with sheer flower power and striking hot pink-red foliage that peaks after the flowers. I'm interested in hybridizing with this one, so I was able to manually pollinate 1/2 of this clump with pollen from yellow E. pinnatum colchicum... both are shown below.

Photos 1-3 E. sempervirens 'Violet Queen', photo 4 is a flat of OP (open pollinated) seedlings just germinating now, from seed sown spring 2010.

Left: evergreen foliage on E. pinnatum colchicum was battered from the winter ice layer this year, so I cut off all the foliage in spring for better visivility of the bright yellow flowers.  Lots of pollen on the flowers, so I'm spreading pollen on several other species to see if the yellow color and evergreen habit can be imparted to hybrid offspring.
Center:  Hot spring foliar color on E. x setosum.  I plan on continuing to use this one, with tiny but perky little white flowers, for hybridization.
Right: E. grandiflorum 'Tama No Genpei', one of the better grandiflorums with nice coffee color spring foliage and rich pink & white flowers.

A rare one, E. qingchengshanense, a recently described species.  Flowers somewhat like E. fargesii; delicate reflexed white sepals and purple spurs.  It too is receiving borrowed pollen ;D and here again, I have hybrid seedlings germinating (form manual crosses).

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

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

This past winter, I bought a new tool that I envisioned would help with dividing Epimediums.  Anyone who has tried dividing an Epimedium knows they build up into nearly impenetrable dense rhizomatous root balls making them extremely difficult to divide.  The tool was from Sears (Sears Craftsman brand), although this weekend I found similar such tools at a hardware store made by Stanley, another well known name in tools.  The tool is like a narrow super-heavy-duty trowel, but with a serrated cutting edge on one side.  It if very thick, solid, and heavy... the weight making it balanced and most effective and easy to use.  

In the 1st photo, I had dug up a mature 10-year old clump of E. x youngianum 'Murasaki-Juji', and used this new tool to easily saw through the rhizomes to make three intact divisions.  I'm sure this tool will be very effective on dividing other tough perennials as well, a good buy at $15 US.

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

WimB
WimB's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Mark,

really nice pics of great plants!

And that looks like a really handy tool, I should be able to find that here in Europe too.

here are some of the last in my garden:

E. dolichostemon
E. grandiflorum 'Yellow Princess'
E. x youngianum 'Tama Botan'

Wim Boens
Wingene Belgium zone 8a

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