DESCRIPTION: These hardy perennialsare originally from Europe, Persia and Japan. The different varieties of Epimediums, or Barrenworts as they are commonly called, range in height from 6 to 20 inches. (The average is about a foot high.) E. youngianum var. Niveum is a compact plant with bright green leaves that are bronze when young. They are divided into 2 to 9, heart-shaped, serrated leaflets. The small, snow-white flowers are cup-shaped, with or without spurs, and produced in airy, branched clusters of 4 to 12, in late spring. E. grandiflorum 'Rose Queen' is a pretty plant. The leaves are divided into 2 or 3, smooth, thin, heart-shaped leaflets. They are dark green tinged with copper. The small, cup-shaped, spurred flowers are dark pink and produced on branching, wiry stems in the spring. E. acuminatum forms creeping tufts of pretty foliage. The leaves are divided into 3 lance-shaped, serrated leaflets. They are medium green mottled with dark pink. The tiny, cup-shaped flowers have curved spurs and are produced on branching stems in the spring or early summer. They may be pale violet-rose, yellow or white. E. versicolor 'Neosulphureum' produces leaves, which are divided into 3 heart-shaped, serrated leaflets. They are bright green dappled with red-purple. The small, cup-shaped, pale yellow flowers are borne in loose clusters in the spring. Other varieties will be mentioned below.
POTTING: These plants should be grown in moist, humus-rich soil in partial shade, in sheltered places. They may be damaged by wind and late frosts. The old foliage should be cut back in the winter. They make great ground covers in shady borders.
PROPAGATION: They may be divided in the spring or fall. Seeds may also be sown at those times.
VARIETIES: E. alpinum; E. pinnatum & var. colchicum; E. sulphureum; E. youngianum var. Niveum; E. pubigerum; E. grandiflorum & var. Crimson Beauty, lilafee, album, niveum, roseum, violaceum; E. rubrum; E. acuminatum; E.davidii; E. perralderianum; E. versicolor; E. warleyense.
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