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Epimediums: the perfect perennial for the woodland or shade garden

If you’re looking for a hardy perennial plant that offers lovely spring flowers and colourful spring and autumn foliage, then Ladybrook Nursery would definitely recommend the epimedium. Epimediums are part of the Berberis family, originating predominantly from Asia but also native to Europe. The epimedium is a perfect plant choice for a woodland or shade garden. Epimediums are a great choice for the north side of a wall or a bed that receives some moisture in eastern UK, and for typical shade garden borders in the western parts of the country, where rainfall is generally higher. These spring-blooming plants may look delicate and have a fragile sort of beauty, but they are tough, easy to grow and very reliable.  They are valuable garden plants because not only do they produce lovely flowers in a wide range of shapes and hues; they also offer colourful spring and autumn foliage.

Epimedium pinnatum ‘Elegans’

Epimedium pinnatum ‘Elegans’ is a slow-growing, mat-forming evergreen perennial which forms a dense clump of pinnate leaves divided into five oval, dark green leaflets and lax racemes of spurred, saucer-shaped, bright yellow flowers in spring. ‘Elegans’ will reach a height of 0.5m and a spread of 0.3m after 2-5 years. It will tolerate sun but grows best in humus-rich, fertile, moist but well-drained soil in partial shade. Shelter from cold, drying winds.

Type: perennial

Height: 50cm

Foliage: evergreen – green, heart-shaped

Flower colour: tiny bright yellow

Flowering: April to May

Aspect: partial shade

Epimedium Sulphureum

Epimedium ‘Sulphureum’, also known as the Bishop’s hat ‘Sulphureum’ is a clump-forming, rhizomatous, evergreen perennial with mid-green leaves divided into heart-shaped leaflets and pink and yellow flowers with long, red-tinted spurs in late spring. Plant in fertile, moist but well-drained, humus-rich soil. Prefers part shade, and needs shelter from cold, dry winds. Will tolerate full sun and slightly drier soils.

Type: perennial

Height: 30cm

Foliage: copper/red when young

Flower colour: yellow

Flowering: spring

Aspect: semi-shade

Epimedium x parralchicum Frohnleiten

Epimedium x parralchicum ‘Frohnleiten’ is an evergreen perennial with a mat-forming habit with bronze-tinted ovate leaflets. It bears sprays of cream, bright yellow, white and pale-pink flowers in spring. ‘Frohnleiten’ has been awarded an RHS Award of Garden Merit. ‘Frohnleiten’ will reach a height of 0.4m and a spread of 0.3m after 2-5 years. ‘Frohnleiten’ Can tolerate some sun if soil is kept moist, but grows best in humus-rich, fertile, moist but well-drained soil in partial shade. Shelter from cold, drying winds.

Type: perennial

Height: 40cm

Foliage: evergreen – green flushed bronze, heart shaped

Flower colour: April to May

Flowering: tiny bright yellow

Aspect: partial shade

Epimedium x ‘Rubrum’

Epimedium x ‘Rubrum’ is a mat-forming, deciduous herbaceous perennial with heart-shaped leaves and red and yellow flowers in spring held on wiry stems. Its leaves emerge red-tinted, aging to green; then become flushed auburn in autumn. X ‘Rubrum has been awarded an RHS Award of Garden Merit. It will reach a height of 0.3m and a spread of 0.3m after 2-5 years. X ‘Rubrum’ can tolerate some sun if soil is kept moist, but grows best in humus-rich, fertile, moist but well-drained soil in partial shade. Shelter from cold, drying winds.

Type: perennial

Height: 30cm

Foliage: green, bronze-tinted when young turning reddish brown in autumn

Flower colour: April to May

Flowering: crimson and pale yellow

Aspect: partial shade

Epimedium x versicolour ‘Sulphureum’

Epimedium x versicolour ‘Sulphureum’ is a clump-forming, rhizomatous, evergreen perennial with mid-green leaves divided into heart-shaped leaflets and pink and yellow flowers with long, red-tinted spurs in late spring. ‘Sulphureum’ has been awarded an RHS Award of Garden Merit. It will reach a height of 0.5m and a spread of 0.5m after 2-5 years. ‘Sulphureum’ can tolerate some sun and drier soils, but grows best in humus-rich, fertile, moist but well-drained soil in partial shade. Shelter from cold, drying winds.

Type: perennial

Height: 50cm(max)

Foliage: bronze-tinted green

Flower colour: April to May

Flowering: primrose yellow with reddish/-pink sepals

Aspect: partial shade

Epimedium x youngianum ‘Roseum’

Epimedium x youngianum ‘Roseum’, also known as Barrenwort ‘Roseum’, is a compact, clump-forming, deciduous mid-green leaves, flushed bronze when young, and sprays of dusky-pink to purple flowers appear on red-tinted stems in spring. ‘Roseum’ will reach a height of 0.3m and a spread of 0.3m after 5-10 years. Plant in fertile, moist but well-drained, humus-rich soil. Prefers part shade, but needs shelter from cold, dry winds.

Type: perennial

Height: 3cm

Foliage: green, pink-tinged when young

Flower colour: April to May

Flowering: purple/pink

Aspect: partial shade

Epimedium’ youngianum ‘Niveum’

Epimedium yougianum ‘Niveum’ is a is a compact, clump-forming semi-evergreen perennial with distinctive, heart-shaped leaves and a spreading habit. Its leaves are semi-evergreen and flushed with bronze in spring and autumn. In spring, it produces masses of tiny, bell-shaped pure white flowers with long spurs, held on wiry, red-tinted stems. ‘Niveum’ will reach a height of 0.3m and a spread of 0.3m after 5-10 years. Plant in fertile, moist but well-drained, humus-rich soil. Prefers part shade, but needs shelter from cold, dry winds.

Type: Perennial

Height: 30cm

Foliage: semi-evergreen -bronze-tinted green

Flower colour: April to May

Flowering: pure white

Aspect: partial shade

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