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Author Topic: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010  (Read 63003 times)

TheOnionMan

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Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« on: January 04, 2010, 04:28:00 AM »
As a new-comer to SRGC Forum, I missed out on the very interesting "Epimedium 2009" discussion.  I hope to revisit some of the  information and questions posed in the 2009 thread in 2010.  So, I'm pleased to kick off "Epimedium 2010".

There is life beyond Allium & Onions for the "Onion Man", and I'm a serious admirer of Epimedium as well, as well as many other plants.  I call my beloved Epimedium plants "eppies" for short.  I am most fortunate being located just a mere 45 minutes drive from the "epicenter of Epimedium", the epimedium extravaganza that is Garden Vision Nursery founded by epi-jedi master Darrell Probst, in Hubbardston, Massachusetts. I will discuss this in more in the future.

Let me start with a single recent species, E. wushanense, a species that is only recent and rarely obtainable.  Epimedium wushanense "Spiny-leaved Forms" is a selection from several clones grown by Darrell, that grows lower and leafier, with shorter condensed panicles of large bloom.  I got my plant at a local NARGS auction 3 years back, where Darrell as usual generously donated a wonderful selection of choicest of choice epimedium to benefit our chapter.

This species has proved completely hardy (most epimediums are absolutely hardy) and completely evergreen in my harsh Zone 5 garden (a number of eppies are indeed evergreen here), with bold, glossy, spiny-edged foliage, and dense spikes of substantially large white and yolk-yellow flowers in May.  The only problem with the flowers is that they droop downwards towards the ground and get dirt-splashed.  In the photo, I am lifting up two flower spikes.  I think this species has incredible potential for breeding.  More to come.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 04:50:35 AM by TheOnionMan »
Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA (near the New Hampshire border)
USDA Zone 5
antennaria at charter.net

galahad

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2010, 04:56:52 AM »
Thanks for starting the 2010 thread.  I love Epimediums and need to find some more
Christchurch, New Zealand

Stephen Vella

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2010, 05:14:22 AM »
Nice one Mark,

Do you ever self pollinate your species? Im starting to find hybrids among some of mine.

Your luck to have a close source of a very nice genus.

Looking forward to some more picks

cheers
Stephen Vella, Blue Mountains, Australia,zone 8.

johnw

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 11:57:51 AM »
Mark - Thanks for posting the pictures of E. wushanense.  I just got some plants from Philip McDougall in Vancouver this past autumn and look forward to some variation.  Hopefully he will post some pictures too as he has a good collection.

johnw
John in coastal Nova Scotia

gote

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 12:16:20 PM »
That is a fabolus Epimedium and one i will try to find.
When I look out through the window I have ten inches of snow and the temperature is -4°C expected to get down to -15°C in the night.
Is winter already over in your place?
Cheers
Göte
Göte Svanholm
Mid-Sweden

maggiepie

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 12:45:17 PM »
Mark, these are wonderful. The second pic reminds me of a tiny mahonia.
I have never seen epimedium seeds offered for sale anywhere. I wondered if the plants are sterile but now find out they hybridize.
Do they only set seed rarely?
Helen Poirier, New Brunswick, Canada-Zone 4b

fleurbleue

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2010, 02:02:33 PM »
Amazing "Eppie" Mark, I didn't know it  :o Maggiepie, seeds are very small and I never thought to collect them  :-[ Why ? I don't know  ::) But I shall try from mines this year !
Nicole, south west near Lyon, France  Zone 7 altitude 400 m

fleurbleue

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2010, 02:10:45 PM »
Mark, intrigued by your Epimedium wushanense I made some searches on Web but the images which I found show a flower much smaller and more spaced out on the stalk. Is it a cultivar? Or a botanic ?
Nicole, south west near Lyon, France  Zone 7 altitude 400 m

TheOnionMan

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2010, 03:25:09 PM »
Mark, intrigued by your Epimedium wushanense I made some searches on Web but the images which I found show a flower much smaller and more spaced out on the stalk. Is it a cultivar? Or a botanic ?

Darrell Probst has a number of wild-collected forms of E. wushanense.  He sells this selected form annotated as E. wushanense "Spiny-leaved Forms"... this in itself representing several clones.  He says they were selected for their leafier more compact habit and shorter (thus more dense) bloom panicles. One can also assume it was selected for its particularly spiny leaf form.

One really important thing to know about eppies before planting them in the garden, is to know their spreading capabilities (be careful of the "rompers").  Most are clumpers, some are mildly spreading, some are far-ranging invading rompers ready to take over some major real estate.  What I appreciate about the Garden Vision Nursery catalog, is that the root growth type is described in the list.  He says of this one, it spreads by 4" (10 cm) rhizomes.  I eagerly anticipate a meter-wide clump in a few more years.  :D
Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA (near the New Hampshire border)
USDA Zone 5
antennaria at charter.net

TheOnionMan

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2010, 04:04:52 PM »
Mark, these are wonderful. The second pic reminds me of a tiny mahonia.
I have never seen epimedium seeds offered for sale anywhere. I wondered if the plants are sterile but now find out they hybridize.
Do they only set seed rarely?

The similarity to Mahonia is for good reason, both Mahonia and Epimedium are members of Berberidaceae, but it isn't until one starts seeing spiny-leaved Epimedium species like wushanense, hunanense, ilicifolium, that one plainly sees the affinity.

Good question about seed.  Mine seed about all over the place, but I welcome this tendency.  I have 170 species and cultivars, and believe that most make seed.  The tiny green "pea pods" hold few to many even tinier succulent pale seeds, looking green and non-viable, but they are indeed viable.  I believe the seeds are probably ephemeral and need to be sown when ripe.  Even my wushanense made lots of largish plump seed pods. When the pods are squeezed lightly in summer, if the seam easily splits open to reveal the seeds, they are ready.  Mostly I just scratch the seed into the pine bark mulch areas adjacent to the mother plant, then the following year gather up many seedlings into flats, to be planted out in the yard someplace (I hate throwing out even a single eppie seedling).

I searched for some photos that show seed pods, but I don't think I took any specifically for that purpose, but chanced upon a photo of Epimedium x versiscolor 'Versicolor' just after peak bloom, and you can see lots of little green pea-pods. (MMcD Update: the pods on E. x versicolor 'Versicolor' are empty, as the variety is apparently sterile)    And just to be fair with this most excellent variety, I upload a photo of the plant in full flower.  All of the E. x versicolor forms are first rate but this one is among the most floriferous, and displays utterly remarkable chameleonesque colored foliage spring, summer, fall and into winter.  I will be ulpoading a "time-line" series showing 2-3 Epimediums going through the seasons.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 01:56:28 AM by TheOnionMan »
Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA (near the New Hampshire border)
USDA Zone 5
antennaria at charter.net

TheOnionMan

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2010, 04:17:36 PM »
Do you ever self pollinate your species? Im starting to find hybrids among some of mine.
cheers

I don't self pollinate them, never really had the time, but I'm getting lots of spontaneous hybrids.  Now, I am purposely planting certain epimediums in close proximity to each other, to enhance desired hybrid possibilities.  Got some interesting hybrids coming along, such as Epimedium brevicornu x membranaceum... it's fun to find these.  I have a few ideas about interesting hybrid combinations, and may try dabbling a bit with hand-made crosses.

Darrell Probst on the other hand, does hand pollinate, and has huge rows of mind-boggling hybrids that defy belief and await introduction.  He also has lots and lots of "sp nova" things, and unusual clones of recent species, many not in cultivation yet. Even if he stopped hybriding these anymore, he problably has a two decades worth of hybrids that could be eventually introduced.  Our gardens will all be the richer for it.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 05:40:41 PM by TheOnionMan »
Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA (near the New Hampshire border)
USDA Zone 5
antennaria at charter.net

fleurbleue

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2010, 04:39:37 PM »
How are you lucky Mark to have such a  nursery by your side !  ::) Could you show us photos of the species which you cultivate, at the same time flowers and foliages ? It would interest me a lot ! Here, it is difficult to find rare varieties or hybrids, but the French gardeners begin to be interested in "eppies" in France
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 04:41:21 PM by fleurbleue »
Nicole, south west near Lyon, France  Zone 7 altitude 400 m

Gunilla

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2010, 06:10:25 PM »
I have just discovered Epimediums and love them already. I will follow this thread with interest.  This picture of seedpods is from June last year.
Gunilla   South Sweden

maggiepie

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2010, 06:18:46 PM »
Mark, the plant looks like it has tons of seed.
If the seeds are ephemeral, would they keep in damp vermiculite for a week or so?
For mailing purposes.

Gunilla, terrific pic of the seeds.
I too have only just discovered epimediums, a new nursery opened up and had a couple in flower, first time ( and last) that I have seen them offered locally.
Helen Poirier, New Brunswick, Canada-Zone 4b

Maggi Young

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Re: Epimedium listing: including Epimedium 2010
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2010, 06:31:19 PM »
In the Scottish Borders, the nursery of Teyl de Bordes used to have a lot of Eppies.... did I hear he has retired? What news of the nursery, anyone??
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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