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Epimediums: Queens of the Woodland

Articles: Epimediums: Queens of the Woodland

Epimedium latisepalum produces some of the largest flowers in the genus. Author’s photographs

[sidebar]Epimedium flowers demand close examination, as the floral interest of the various species is not always determined by the same flower part. Without exception, all Epimedium species possess two sets of four sepals, and four petals. The outer sepals, similar to bud scales, protect the flower in bud and are shed upon opening. In some species, the inner sepals are expanded and colorful (rarely spurred), whereas the petals are quite small. In others, the sepals are small while the petals are large and colorful, possessing a distinctive spur- or horn-shaped appendage that entices pollinating insects to the nectar produced inside.

Daniel J Hinkley, The Explorers’s Garden 1999 [/sidebar]

Among the most beautiful and charming perennials in the woodland is the epimedium. The delicate early spring bloom and the lovely, yet unobtrusive foliage are assets in any shady garden. Since the 1980s, these useful plants have undergone a transformation in variety and availability. New species have been introduced, and more...

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