Aristocratic perennial groundcovers that rarely grow more than a foot high, Epimediums are perfect candidates for tucking under the skirts of leggy shrubs or at the base of a tree. They tolerate heavy shade and compete well with tree roots. The broad, pointed leaves attached to wiry stems dance to and fro with every breeze and are touched pink or red in spring. In fall they often turn red, yellow, or bronze. The delicate flowers are also held on thin stalks that sway above the foliage in April. Epimediums thrive in a shady site high in organic matter, and, once established, are drought tolerant. Plant connoisseurs can't get enough of this diverse and highly collectible genus! Zones 5-8 except where noted.
We received this Epimedium a few years ago from a Chinese nursery. It's a vigorous grower and has lovely long-spurred yellow flowers with dark red inner sepals. It may be a form of E. davidii. Z. 5-8
This plant from China has broad, star-shaped flowers gossamer white with the base stained purple-pink, borne in large clusters. A real beauty!
Epimedium 'Amber Queen'
New this season and a unique color not seen in any other Epimedium! This hybrid from the U.K. boasts large yellow flowers brushed with orange-red. Flowers are held well above the spiny, holly-like foliage. PP 17197.
Exquisite cream flowers kissed with burgundy are shaped like jester's caps and are held above the foot-high foliage. The tapered leaves emerge in shades of dark red in spring before maturing to green. Most elegant!
A lovely cultivar selected in England, 'Enchantress' displays silvery pink flowers on a plant 12-15 inches high. (E. dolichostemon x leptorrhizum).
Epimedium 'Lilac Cascade'
Long sprays of lilac flowers cover this Epimedium in spring, and rounded, tapered leaves are edged in red—viewed together, a spectacular display!
Several years ago we received this plant as Epimedium acuminatum from a now-defunct nursery, and we knew right away that it probably wasn't as advertised. We kind of forgot about it, until one spring a couple of years later we discovered it in bloom—wow! Red and yellow flowers were bobbing around on 8-12-inch stalks above bold, dark green leaves. The jester-cap flowers inspired us to name this plant after the protagonist of Giuseppe Verdi's opera of the same name.
Epimedium acuminatum 'Night Mistress'
Deeply saturated, dark purple petals on this selection discovered by Darrell Probst in southwestern China. Elegant Epimedium acuminatum has spiny evergreen leaves and large, long-spurred flowers displayed above as well as interspersed among the leaves. Probst reports that no other Epimedium has such intensely purple petals, and we are thrilled to be able to offer this rarely available plant.
Epimedium Asiatic Hybrid
The lavender-pink and white flowers are not large, but there are scads and scads of them blooming on 12 to 18-inch stems above handsome foliage so that a striking effect is produced. Brought to the U.S. from an English nursery by Dan Hinckley of Heronswood, who speculated that its parents were E. davidii and E. acuminatum.
This larger growing Chinese species can be more than a foot tall in bloom. It has large long-spurred yellow and cream flowers with a touch of green. The glossy, leathery leaflets have bristles along the margin. Vigorous, highly ornamental species.
This compact Epimedium has rounded yellowish flowers borne in considerable abundance above low growing foliage with small evergreen leaflets. The specific name of this of southwestern China native honors the great French plant explorer Père Armand David. Z. 6-8
Epimedium diphyllum 'Variegatum' - Variegated Epimedium
Few Epimediums are variegated, but this little guy shows off the irregularly white-splashed leaves in spring along with dainty white flowers. The variegation fades with the approach of summer.
Only recently discovered and named, this species has exquisite bicolor flowers. The reddish-purple spurs and central cup contrast beautifully with the wide white inner sepals. A vigorous grower, this new species has glossy foliage and spreads to form a dense groundcover, reaching about a foot high.
Epimedium fargesii - Farges' Epimedium
The flowers of this species resemble miniature shuttlecocks with extravagantly extruding stamens. The overall effect is white tinged with violet. The exuberant narrow leaflets are quite handsome and will hold your interest after flowers have faded. Plants in bloom will be about 12-18 inches high. Z. 6-8
Epimedium franchetii - Franchet's Epimedium
Large, pale sulfur yellow jester's cap flowers have widely flaring petals and are held on stalks 12-20 inches above the attractive glossy leaflets. In spring the foliage has reddish tints. It's only been in cultivation about 20 years. Adrien Franchet was a 19th-century French botanist.
Epimedium grandiflorum 'Lilafee'
Breathtaking lavender flowers in spring seem to float above the foliage of this recent selection. The appealing leaves flush bronze before greening up. A must-have, to-die-for plant!
Epimedium grandiflorum 'Purple Prince'
Luscious plum-colored buds open to dark purple flowers, and the new leaflets in spring are tinged with a rosy bronze. Grows about 15-18 inches high.
Epimedium grandiflorum 'Red Queen'
Rosy red flowers are enchanting amidst larger than normal leaves. In fall foliage often turns a striking orange, uncommon among Epimediums. In spite of its large size and vigor, this Epimedium has proved slow to propagate, and this is our first offering in nearly 10 years.
Epimedium grandiflorum 'Sirius'
Pale pink flowers about mid-April are held on short stalks above the light green foliage. This plant to about 15 inches or so high originated as a seedling in the garden of legendary plantsman Harold Epstein and was introduced by former We-Du Nursery owner Richard Weaver. A charming and elegant addition to the shade garden.
Epimedium grandiflorum 'Tama no Genpei'
Exceptionally beautiful bicolor flowers are lavender-pink and white. They look fresh and crisp in spring and are held well above the somewhat mottled foliage.
Epimedium grandiflorum 'Yubae'
Large rose-crimson flowers adorn this selection which grows to about a foot high. Its large red flowers are some of the most eye-catching of all Epimediums. Although we received this plant years ago as 'Crimson Beauty', Darrell Probst reports that it is originally a Japanese selection, and the correct name is 'Yubae'. Just to add to the merriment, it's also been known as 'Rose Queen', but a rose by any other name, etc.
Famous for being among the most beautiful wild Epimediums, this rarely available Chinese species has large white flowers with long spurs. They are elegantly displayed above glossy, medium green foliage that persists through winter. This native of Sichuan Province grows about a foot tall and spreads quite slowly, forming a dense and tough groundcover.
A beautiful clump of foliage that remains evergreen for us, this species from western China has exquisite pale yellow spider-like flowers with reddish markings, but unlike most other Epimediums, which bloom only once in spring, Epimedium membranaceum blooms not only in spring but sporadically throughout the summer as well! This Epimedium is a slow divider, and we can offer it only occasionally. Z. 6-8
Epimedium myrianthum 'Mottled Madness'
Epimedium myrianthum is known for its red-mottled foliage, and this Probst selection has some of the most striking patterning of all. Large, tapered leaves are stained with coppery red blotches, and the size of the leaves make this effect quite eye-catching. The mottling fades with the onset of hot weather but generally returns with the cooler temperatures of fall. Airy panicles of tiny blue flower buds open to small white or flesh-pink flowers in spring. Z. 6-8
Epimedium pinnatum ssp. colchicum
A relatively recent introduction from northern Iran and Georgia (the country), this Epimedium is a profuse bloomer with bright yellow flowers. Leaves remain evergreen in winter, and it spreads slowly to forms a dense groundcover. Famous for its toughness, this is an especially good Epimedium to plant where conditions are harsh. Our Specimen Plants will get you off to a good start. Z. 5-8
Big Specimen Plants.
A handsome, petite Barrenwort to under a foot high, this plant has glossy leaflets, well above which long stalks of small white flowers kissed with rose appear in April. This plant has a wild, naturalistic look unlike some of the hybrids or named varieties.
Glossy evergreen leaves are thick and persistent, and the margins contain numerous bristle-like hairs, which are quite distinctive. Sprays of up to 60 tiny yellow and white flowers are thrown up in spring. Z. 6-8
Epimedium sempervirens 'Secret Arrow'
The flowers of this selection are a glistening lavender held above arrow-shaped foliage. Japanese Epimedium sempervirens is a smaller Epimedium with typically rounded leaves, but this leaves on this selection are shaped like arrowheads, and they can turn shades of bronzy red in fall.
Epimedium stellulatum 'Wudang Star'
Originally collected by British plantsman and China explorer Roy Lancaster, this selection bears numerous white flowers crowded on stems held above the foliage. The blooms resemble tiny white doves circling the plant. We've noticed a pleasant fragrance when in full bloom. Grows to 12-18 inches.
Epimedium stellulatum Long Leaf Form
This species has small white, starry flowers held well above the foliage. This form has unusually long narrow leaflets with spiny margins, making it worth growing for the foliage alone. Grows to about 18-24 inches.
Epimedium x omeiense - Mt. Omei Epimedium
We've been making divisions of this plant for years, and only every now and then can we offer a few. Large flowers that are a bright yellow and rose are enchanting in spring.
Epimedium x rubrum 'Sweetheart'
A stately selection with red-rimmed leaves in spring to about 14-16 inches high, 'Sweetheart' produces dark rose-red flowers held above as well as in among the leaves.
Epimedium x sasakii
Apparently a naturally occurring hybrid, this Epimedium displays small rich lavender flowers on delicate stalks held above the petite leaflets. Plants grow to about 8 inches and go dormant early. (E. sempervirens x E. [x setosum]).
Epimedium x versicolor 'Cherry Tart'
Handsome and distinctive, 'Cherry Tart' leafs out reddish purple, and the red flower buds open to starburst rosy red flowers on a plant 12-18 inches high. When an Epimedium is needed for particularly tough conditions, consider any of the E. x versicolor selections. Easy to grow and floriferous, they are also drought tolerant and create a great floral impact in spots where little else worthwhile will prosper.
Epimedium x versicolor 'Cupreum'
Intensely colored foliage makes this one of the most distinctive of Epimediums. The handsome foliage leafs out rosy red in spring and turns coppery red in fall. Salmony pink flowers will wow you in spring.
Epimedium x versicolor 'Neosulphureum'
Attractive reddish brown leaves in spring are a foil for the airy yellow flowers, which are among the last of the Epimediums to flower, late April into May.
Epimedium x versicolor 'Strawberry Blush'
Parchment-colored sepals with rosy streaks contrast beautifully with the lemon-yellow cup on a diminutive plant to just under a foot high. The glossy foliage is handsome all summer.
Epimedium x versicolor 'Versicolor'
Early spring foliage is tinged with copper, and sumptuous early April flowers are salmon to rosy yellow. This is among the earliest Epimediums to bloom, and the flowers are borne on large panicles roughly a foot high; the clump is tight and compact.
Epimedium x warleyense
An exceptionally beautiful hybrid between E. alpinum and E. pinnatum ssp. colchicum, this plant carries eye-popping reddish-orange flowers on 12-inch stalks above the attractive rounded leaves. Tough and undemanding, this Epimedium belongs in every shade garden.
Epimedium x warleyense 'Orangekönigin' (Orange Queen)
This recent introduction from Germany has tangy light orange flowers that will tropicalize your April garden. Z. 5-8
Epimedium x youngianum 'Azusa'
A dainty character to about a foot high in the garden, 'Azusa' bursts out in large white flowers in spring. Quite fetching! E. x youngianum is a deciduous Epimedium.
Epimedium x youngianum 'Capella'
Bell-shaped lavender to rose flowers are borne in great profusion atop a dainty plant less than a foot high.
Epimedium x youngianum 'Marchacos Sprite'
Lively rosy pink flowers with white edges grace this small charmer.
Epimedium x youngianum 'Purple Heart'
Leaves flush dark purple in spring, and bicolored lavender and white flowers bloom against this backdrop.
Epimedium x youngianum 'Royal Flush'
Enchanting lavender-purple flowers bloom in spring against reddish brown foliage.
Epimedium x youngianum 'Tama Botan'
You'll be charmed by this recent introduction from Japan. Two-toned flowers are light lavender, changing to darker lavender at the tips. As the sepals and petals are similar in shape, the flower actually appears double. Foliage is no less appealing as it emerges dusky purple and changes to green as it matures.