EPIMEDIUMS are a delight for all gardeners, novice to expert, Spring through Fall. Comprising 54 species at last tally, epimediums have a wide natural distribution--principally Eastern Asia and the Mediterranean. They adapt wonderfully to cultivated gardens and a big plus is deer don't eat them. Relishing dappled shade and average soil, this is a very classy plant that everyone can grow quite successfully.
Abundant with spring sprays of flowers-- white, gold, wine to violet-- this showcase is followed with distinctive patterned foliage held strongly aloft on wiry stems. Hence the common name “fairy wing”. Some are evergreen, others deciduous, all hardy perennials.
At Bouquet Banque, the collection began with E.versicolor and E.rubrum in the late 70’s. They both earned high marks for their adaptability to tough dry shade areas. The charming swarms of spurred flowers are lovely, but honestly it was their glorious new leaves and the aristocratic style of the genus that captured me most.
With years of patient growing, we have expanded to a fine collection. Our current love affair is with the recently identified Chinese species, but every epimedium is a distinct gem. We raise our own mother plants and grow mature sale plants from field divisions only.
When you select your plants from Bouquet Banque you will receive more detailed growing information from Bill...he likes for his “children” to be treated just right! Here you will find a complete species list and general characteristics of each.
E. acuminatum - pretty hard to resist the glory of this Chinese species. Long pointed leaflets full of grace and mottled reds on green and giant long spurred flowers, deep rose on white, held just below the leaflet. Quite rare in cultivation, but fairly easy to grow.
E. grandiflorum 'Purple Prince'- this specimen makes a nice clump of heart-shaped leaves that emerge rose colored and grow to 8" tall. It is topped with spikes of dark purple flowers. After flowering, the new 18" tall leaf flush covers the old flower stalks. A very showy, hardy epimedium for light shade.
E. franchetti - a Chinese species, this lovely earns the term fairy wing extraordinaire! with its’ long elegant leaflets. Flowers occur in long sprays, held well above the foliage, pale sulphur yellow.
E. stellulatum Long Leaf Form - this rare collector's plant is strikingly graceful. Standing quite tall on wiry stems, the leaflets emerge slender, bronze, shapely and long. Like clusters of stars, the white sprays burst forth with deep yellow centers. Discovered on a mountain in Hubei province--the refinement of this plant leaves me breathless.
E. grandiflorum ‘Lilafee’ - a dwarf deciduous selection of exuberant good looks introduced by plantsman Ernst Pagels of Germany. Early spring foliage is bronzy lavender, heart shaped and filled with joy. Add to that deep lilac flowers and ease of care-moist dappled shade.