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Hardiness Zone Map


Epimedium

Barrenwort or Bishop’s Hat

Dense and leafy Epimedium is one of our most successful ground covers for the moist woodland setting. New heart-shaped leaves on wiry stems unfurl in spring with a rosy, marbled coloration that fades to green as summer approaches. In autumn, the marbling returns in coral and copper, enduring mild winters. The unusual small flowers (Bishop’s Hats) are held above the foliage in airy sprays, and resemble miniature Columbines. Durable and long-lived, Epimediums can adapt to drier conditions once established, spreading slowly and steadily. Both flowers and foliage are prized for small arrangements.

<i>Epimedium</i> ‘Amber Queen’

Bred by Blackthorn Nursery owner Robin White, this relatively new E. flavum and E. wushanense cross is adorned with droves of large warm-hued blooms. Arranged in an open fashion on long, nearly invisible black stems, the whimsical deep yellow flowers feature hooked light blonde spurs, red-tinged sepal backs and speckled petals, all melding together for an overall amber shade. Toothed and elongated, tidy heart-shaped foliage heralds spring with a bold russet mottling.

Blooms late March–May

Size: 10" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

We have American Epimedium maven, Darrell Probst, to thank for this wildly popular floriferous hybrid. Beneath the practically peerless bicolored floral display, long-pointed spiny edged leaves with hazel-hued bridling compose a stylish dense mound. The 2 ft. tall, arching maroon panicles gather a splendid legion of large white-spurred blooms, embellished by rosy wine-tinted tips. Though ‘Domino’ is uninteresting to deer and bunnies, it promises to entice many 2-legged garden visitors.

Blooms April–May

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

‘Enchantress’ is the prized outcome of legendary plantswoman Elizabeth Strangman’s cross between Epimedium dolichostemon and Epimedium leptorrhizum. Buoyant tiny lavender-colored buds and medium-sized silvery lilac flowers with purple inner segments loll above large elongated heart-shaped green leaves. Heightened by undulating margins plus red, henna and crimson brindling in the winter and early spring, this distinctive low growing evergreen can be enjoyed along a pathway or near your favorite bench.

Blooms March–April

Size: 6" – 12" high x 12" – 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

A chance seedling discovered by the late Harold Epstein in his esteemed New York garden, ‘Dark Beauty’s new spring growth entertains a commanding medley of cocoa, wine and damson hues beneath large, white-spurred deep rosy-pink flowers on wire-thin stems. ‘Dark Beauty’s somewhat diminutive clump becomes more green with age, yet the young unfurling heart-style leaves still present lavish dark tones. Graced with a posh presence, this long-lived Epimedium can be ensconced near fellow shade-lovers such as Geranium p. ‘Lily Lovell’ or Rodgersia ‘Chocolate Wings’.

Blooms April–May

Size: 10" – 12" high x 12" – 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Fresh spring green foliage that’s flushed with cozy chestnut hues premiers large pastel flowers on pale apple green stems. Described by darker flip sides, pinkish lavender sepals plus spidery white-tipped and spurred lilac petals, a fine flood of fairytale-like blooms nearly conceals the handsome medium-sized habit of this easily maintained seldom offered Japanese gem.

Blooms late March–May

Size: 8" – 10" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Epimedium grandiflorum</i> ‘Lilafee’

‘Lilafee’ is a delicate delight as a ground cover. Its loose, tall sprays of elegant, long-spurred, lavender violet blossoms rise from a bed of vigorous oval-shaped foliage, purply bronze when new, and bright green as it matures. A carpet of ‘Lilafee’ under a Cercidiphyllum will echo its coloration.

Blooms late March–May.

Size: 6" – 8" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

With a name that’s apropos, this Richard Lighty introduction conjures fanciful flowers distinguished by vivid purple sepals and extended white spurs. Ornately detailed blooms dance on thin dark stems above a marvelous bed of damson-flushed springtime foliage. Generating a compact, yet plucky ground cover, the heart-like leaves develop olive-green hues and maroon margins as they mature. ‘Purple Pixie’ will impart enchanting accents to the dappled recesses of your garden, especially when nestled alongside Geranium ‘Claudine Dupont’ (pp#13,966)

Blooms April–May

Size: 9" – 12" high x 12" – 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Housed within wispy sprays of wire-like reddish stems, cranberry-colored buds unveil myriad large pure white flowers defined by slender spurs that gracefully flare out. The attractive medium-sized green leaves are arrow-shaped, spiny toothed and mulled with burgundy brindling in the spring. An undemanding AGM recipient,‘White Queen’s close-set herbaceous habit can be easily tucked amid tree roots and other shady alcoves, while her exquisite pearly-hued flowers sparkle up neighbors such as Dicentra ‘Bacchanal’ and Geranium ‘Coombland White’.

Blooms late March–May

Size: 12" – 14" high x 12" – 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Epimedium ‘Mandariin Star’ (P-1986)

Each $12.00

AVAILABLE SUMMER 2021

Recently introduced from China, this average-sized nearly evergreen Epimedium is a study in color-rich refinement. Copper-infused new growth and elongated, deep green serrated leaves present long racemes of dangling, broad-petaled crisp white flowers with warm yellow-orange inner sepals and stamens. Unfazed by deer and occasional dry periods, ‘Mandarin Star’ shines brightly amid fellow shade aficionados such as Dryopteris ‘Brilliance’ and Geranium p. ‘Lavender Pinwheel’.

Blooms April–May

Size: 16" high x 16" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Epimedium</i> x <i>perralchicum</i> ‘Frohnleiten’

With a dainty style that defies its stoic nature, ‘Frohnleiten’ can handle dry conditions and is quick to colonize. Buoyant, loosely formed clusters of pendulous, winged vibrant yellow flowers perch above the tailored leafy clump. Bright green veins dramatically tattoo auburn-tinged spring foliage, while summer brings valiant greenery, and autumn a florid fanfare that occasionally persists into winter.

Blooms April–May

Size: 15" high x 12" – 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Epimedium perralderianum</i>

Bronze serrated leaves in compact clumps are a spring prelude to bright starlike yellow flowers. The foliage turns green and lasts throughout the year, tolerating the shade of Styrax orViburnum.

Blooms March–April.

Size: 8" – 10" high x 16" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Epimedium</i> ‘Pink Elf’

Originating from a Epimedium leptorrhizum and Epimedium pubescens cross, this delightful Robin White hybrid makes a vigorously spreading clump. Dappled with green and auburn shades, the evergreen leaves loll beneath a fairy’s fest of pink flowers marked by purple tinges and bronze-colored cups on thin stiff stems. (pp#17228)

Blooms late March – May.

Size: 12" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Exceptional vitality coupled with a generous showing of large, reblooming rosy-pink flowers earn this Darrell Probst introduction the reputation of being the choicest Epimedium available. Bubbling amid lithe, ultrathin stems that rise well above ‘Pink Champagne’s lusty evergreen clump, the playful blooms showcase raspberry-hued cups plus long blush-toned spurs with pale yellow tips. Bold burgundy and violet-tinged calico patterns imprint each lanky, arrow-shaped evergreen leaf and beckon us to take a closer look.

Blooms April–May

Size: 15" – 18" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Dwelling throughout the mountainous regions near Georgia’s Black Sea coast, this prized Epimedium begets good-sized jewel-box-like blooms with bright yellow petal-like inner sepals, red spurs and tiny brownish petals. Effulgent outfacing flowers prance above tall, lean leafless stems plus a dashing polished mound of reddish brown-dappled younger leaves offset by cordate dark green mature ones. Considered one of the best ground covers for shady areas, the dense, slow-spreading evergreen clump ensures sprightly floral accents, outstanding vigor and drought tolerance once established.

Blooms April–May

Size: 9" – 15" high x 12" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Epimedium</i> x <i>rubrum</i>

So prolific are the intricate crimson and white flowers on this Epimedium that the wiry stems are obscured by the origami-like blossoms. It’s best served by planting in shade, fancying either a woodland setting or the rockery.

Blooms February–March

Size: 9" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Epimedium stellulatum</i> ‘Wudang Star’

Aptly named ‘Wudang Star’ unfurls a floral delicacy of exquisite pure white blossoms that resemble 4-pointed stars in loosely arranged sprays. Highlighted by prominent yellow stamens, the abundant larger than average blooms are elevated on tall lean stems above a lustrous spiny green foundation, distinctive for its arrowhead- shaped leaves and newly emerging growth with bronzy pink margins. Let this rare Chinese gem brighten your garden’s shady nooks and you’ll see why acclaimed plantsman Roy Lancaster introduced it.

Blooms March–April.

Size: 18" high x 15" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

We have botanist Andre Donkelaar, who worked at Ghent University’s Botanic Garden over 150 years ago, to thank for this marvelous steadfast cultivar. An Epimedium pinnatum ssp. colchicum and Epimedium grandiflorum descendant, ‘Cupreum’ has been volunteering a pastel floral delicacy of petite rosy-coral blooms with lemon-yellow central cups ever since its 1854 introduction. Prancing atop ultrathin stems and hair-fringed bronzy-red spring foliage, the sprightly flowers enliven an attractive and enduring evergreen clump that becomes more green in the summer, and then broadcasts cozy maroon and chestnut hues for fall.

Blooms April–May

Size: 12" – 15" high x 15" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Epimedium</i> x <i>versicolor</i> ‘Sulphureum’

Though this Epimedium grandiflorum and Epimedium pinnatum ssp. colchicum hybrid was selected well over 150 years ago, it still upholds an impeccable long-standing reputation as the go-to Epimedium for difficult shady garden recesses. The suave, closely hewn ground covering clump is described by trim bright red flower stalks plus sprightly pale yellow ornate blossoms above leathery heart-shaped green leaves, donning artful wine-hued etchings in spring and autumn maroon blotching. Fast growing, energetic and swarthy, ‘Sulphureum’ mingles well with early blooming Pulmonarias or Brunneras, while conquering a wide range of soil.

Blooms March–April

Size: 12" – 16" high x 12" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

We bet you’ll take your hats off to this ‘Bishop’s Hat’. Its intriguing flowers have petals of yellow, sepals of coppery orange, anthers of green, and spurs adorned with red streaks. The light green spring foliage is spiny-toothed and has a reddish margin. We plant it alongside our shaded steps and benches amid Helleborus ‘Ivory Prince’, so that we can enjoy the detail and contrasting colors.

Blooms April–May.

Size: 12" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Lauded as one of the most colorful warleyense species, this toasty hued hybrid between E. alpinum and E. pinnatum ssp. colchicum occurred in the Warley Place garden of Britain’s infamous curmudgeon plantswoman, Miss Willmott. A central yellow cup and subtle salmon overtones enrich the burnt reddish orange flowers, which are poised on 15 in. narrow stems. Below the wondrous blooms, a fast growing mostly evergreen foundation of ample-sized foliage hosts young plum-imbued leaves maturing to green, then ending the season brinled with bronze and burgundy tones.

Blooms April-May

Size: 16" high x 16" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

We bet you’ll take your hats off to this fabulous ‘Bishop’s Hat’. An Ernest Pagels cross between Epimedium alpinum and Epimedium pinnatum ssp. colchicum, ‘Orange Queen’s intriguing flowers showcase soft coppery tangerine-colored petals, greenish anthers and spurs painted with red streaks. The light green foliage is spiny toothed and warmed by reddish margins. We place it alongside our shaded steps and benches amid Helleborus ‘Ivory Prince’, so that we can enjoy the detail and contrasting colors.

Blooms March–April

Size: 16" high x 16" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Springing forth as a chance seedling in esteemed plantswoman Amy Doncaster’s British garden, this small growing Epimedium conjures pointed wine-colored buds and lovely 2-toned blooms. Plump spurless flowers, distinguished by dusky mauve-purple petals with white bases, populate dense sprays atop thread-like stems. A tailored clump of pointed close-set foliage plus violet and cocoa-tinted young spring growth anchors the unusual nodding blossoms. Lodge ‘Merlin’ in the shadows and a magical spectacle is yours for the viewing.

Blooms April–May

Size: 10" – 12" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Epimedium</i> x <i>youngianum</i> ‘Niveum’

Illuminated by a breezy, overhead display of star-like, pure white flowers, the emerging henna-hued leaves grow into a compact mass that stays neat all season. Smaller sized, handsome pointed green leaflets have toothed margins and end the season with a lambent fall finale, imparting scarlet and crimson colors.

Blooms April–May

Size: 8" – 10" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Documented in a 1863 Parisian herbarium, this ladylike Epimedium premiers fleurs d’un rose clair. Sprays of soft lilac-pink, narcissus-like flowers dangle from stiff, needle-thin reddish stems. Fashioning an attractive bushy mound, the pointed ovate leaflets first emerge with warm auburn hues and green-up as spring progresses.

Blooms April – May.

Size: 8" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Athyrium ‘Ghost’

Feathery-fine ferns, Refresh your summer border, Summer Shipping!

Characterized by delicate-looking fronds...

the deer-proof ferns, which are featured above, unfurl spritely new fiddleheads every spring. All are deciduous save for the lustrous Polystichum, otherwise known as Tassel Fern. Varying shades of green, metallic silver, russet, bronze and burgundy imbue their artful foliage. Second-to-none for shady alcoves, these easy-care perennials can be planted as specimens or grouped in shade gardens, mixed borders and woodland settings. Their filigree-fine features lend sophisticated accents to patio containers or cut arrangements. Ferns will flourish in cool , well-drained moist nooks enriched with compost or well-rotted manure.  

Refresh your summer plantings...

During the month of July, gardeners sometimes wonder how they can perk up their summer gardens. Sunshine-hued blooms, golden leaves and crisp white flowers lend lively accents. They can be sprinkled amid a mixed border, perennial bed or other plantings, melding well with flowers that include a broad color spectrum from blue-violet to purple and lilac, as well as clear pink and darker rose hues.  

Apart from adding more plants, there are a few simple maintenance techniques that will help your garden maintain a fresh appearance during the summer. The addition of a chipped-bark mulch or well-rotted compost early in the season, not only reduces water requirements throughout the warmer months, but promotes vigorous growth and peppy-looking foliage. Many perennials, such as Nepetas and Geraniums, can be trimmed in June or July. This midseason cut back ensures a tidy stature and more blooms, often all the way ‘til frost.

We hope some of the plants in this newsletter spark some interest and beckon you to dig them into that empty spot in your garden.  

 

 

 

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