Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Elimediums... delicately beautiful and TINY blossoms... Spring, 2010

I don't very often post two images in one day... but am making an exception today so you will be able to see both varieties of Epimedium currently blooming in my garden. I first saw this plant while touring a public garden several years ago and was amazed by the tiny blooms. But there was no marker to tell me what the plant was. Then, a year or two later, I hired a garden designer to draw up a plan for my garden which had quite a few shady areas that needed attention after I killed off all the grass in favor of having flowers and shrubs. Imagine how happy I was to find out that the mystery plant that had fascinated me a few years previously was one she recommended for my garden.

The first of the two species I have shown below is Epimedium x rubrum, which is commonly known as Bishop's Mitre (or Hat) from the shape of the flowers, or red barrenwort. The second, shown below Bishops Mitre, is Epimedium grandiflorum which is also known by several other names: Longspur Epimedium, Barrenwort 'Orangekonigin' or Horny Goat Weed (Wikipedia will tell you why it's known as Horny Goat Weed) to name a few. Both of these plants are low growing and spread somewhat slowly... both require cutting back in February before the new growth starts and both bloom profusely in spring before the weather gets too hot. Filtered sunlight is fine early in the growing season but full shade is best during the heat of summer which makes them perfect under my dogwood trees in the front garden!

Epimedium 'Bishops Hat'

Longspur Epimedium blossom

1 comment:

  1. I have made a note of those, especially the second one. I have an area of shade near a north facing wall and I had been looking for plants that would survive there and look pretty.


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