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Enticing Epimediums Print E-mail

Epimediums have many common names including bishop-caps, barrenworts and horny goat weed. These tough, dependable perennials are great additions to the shade garden. Mainly thought of as foliage plants, they come in an array of flower colors. I started using epimediums in my gardens many years ago and really enjoy them throughout all four seasons.

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                   Epimedium x youngianum 'Be My Valentine'

This year, O'Brien Nurserymen will offer thirty varieties of epimediums. We have a number of commonly available cultivars as well as many not so common hybrids. One such is Epimedium x youngianum 'Be My Valentine'. This cultivar has been growing in our garden for a number of years and last spring it flowered like never before. With its blossoms visible from quite a distance, 'Be My Valentine' was requested by many customers. We are happy to report we were able to secure a few plants last fall and are eager to see how they came thru this winter.

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                                   Epimedium grandiflorum 'Dark Beauty'

My favorite barrenwort is Epimedium grandiflorum 'Dark Beauty', its main feature is the very dark burgundy-purple color of the new foliage. One of the first epimediums to emerge in the spring, its new foliage is followed by bi-colored flowers and then another flush of the dark foliage that soon fades to a nice green for the rest of the growing season. I dug and divided one of the clumps in my garden last fall so we should have a number of these for sale this spring.

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                                                           Epimedium diphyllum 'Variegatum'
Epimedium diphyllum 'Variegatum' has exceptional mottled foliage in the spring, as you can see in the above image. We will offer this cultivar next spring for the first time, after lifting and dividing it last fall. Another Epimedium that we have had in our gardens for a number of years is Epi. sp. nov. 'Simple Beauty', which we paid $200 for! This variety is so new and rare it has yet to be given a species name. After many requests for a start of it, we divided it last fall, as well. It will be priced at $45. The image below was taken in December when we were putting things to bed for the winter.   

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           Epimedium sp. nov. 'Simple Beauty'