This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
Epimediums thrive best in partial shade, and are particularly well suited for rockeries and the margins of shrubberies. Almost any soil will answer for them. The peculiar bronzy tints of the young foliage con-
Fig. 1400. Epimedium macranthum. a, E. alpinum variety rubrum; b, E. pinna turn; showing three types of spur or nectary.
trast well with the variously colored flowers. Propagation by division. (J. B. Keller.) a. Spurs conspicuous, often 1 in. long, sometimes twice as long as the showy inner sepals.
Morr. & Decne. Fig. 1400. Leaves thrice ternate; lfts, cordate-ovate, unequal at the base, sharply toothed; petioles with short, spreading, conspicuous hairs: outer sepals sometimes colored bright red, remaining after the larger and showier parts of the flower have fallen; inner sepals ovate-lanceolate, violet; spurs white. Japan. B.R. 1906. P.M. 5:151. Not Gn. 46:356, which is E. pinnatum. variety niveum, Voss (E. niveum, Hort.), has pure white flowers G.W. 3, p. 591. variety roseum, Voss (E. roseum, Hort. E. niveum variety roseum, Hort.), has flowers white, tinged with pink or pale rosy red. variety violaceum, Voss (E. violaceum, Morr. & Decne.), has violet spurs, shorter than in E. macranthum, but much larger than in the other species. B.M. 3751. B.R. 26:43. H.F. 4:168. - A very interesting species. The E. lilacea advertised in some American catalogues seems to belong here. E. lilacea is a name unknown in botanical literature.
aa. Spurs medium-sized, nearly as long as the inner sepals.
b. Inner sepals bright red.
Linn., variety rubrum, Hook. (E. rubrum, Morr.). Fig. 1400. Leaves biternate (but Hooker's picture shows tendency to thrice ternate condition), minutely toothed: spurs white, marked with red, as in Fig. 1400, which shows the very distinct appearance of the flowers Japan. B.M. 5671. R.B. 3, p. 33. - Hooker says this diners in no way from E. alpinum, except in the larger and red flowers, while the type which grows wild in England (though probably not native) has dull reddish yellow flowers, and, though advertised, is probably not in cultivation
bb. Inner sepals whitish or pale yellow.
Musschianum, Morr. & Decne. Leaves only once ternate, sharply toothed, as in E. macranthum: all floral parts whitish or pale yellow. Japan. B.M. 3745. - The least showy kind, but worth growing in a collection, its spurs having an individuality difficult to describe. variety rubrum, Hort., is presumably an error, as a red-fid. form would be very unexpected.
aaa. Spurs much shorter than the inner sepals, being, in fact, merely small nectar-glands.
b. Leaves once or twice ternate.
Fisch. Fig. 1400. Leaves usually biternate, with 5 leaflets, 3 above and 1 on each side; lfts, with a deeper and narrower basal cut than in E. macranthum, the whole plant densely hairy: scape about as long as the fully developed leaves; flowers typically bright yellow; nectaries red, a third or a fourth as long as the inner sepals. Shady mountain woods of Persia and Caucasus. B.M. 4456. Gn. 46:356, (erroneously as E. macranthum); 48, p. 486. G. 18:706. - Best suited to the alpine garden.
Variety elegans, Hort., presumably has larger, brighter and more numerous flowers E. sulphureum of European catalogues is regarded by J. W. Manning and J. B. Keller as a pale yellow-flowered form of E. pinnatum, but by Voss as a variety of E. macranthum. A yellow form of the violet-flowered E. macranthum- would be very surprising.
Variety colchicum, Hort. (E. colchicum, Hort.), has brilliant golden yellow flowers and nectaries 1-1 1/2 lines long.
bb. Leaves always once ternate.
Perralderianum, Coss. This is the African representative of E. pinnatum, from which it differs in the key characters and also in the much more strongly ciliate-toothed leaflets; when young the lfts, have rich bronze markings, making a handsome showing. Its flowers are a "paler yellow than the typical E. pinnatum. It is far from improbable that specimens connecting them will be found in S. Eu., if not in Africa" Algeria. B.M. 6509. - Leaves remain all winter. Less desirable than E. pinnatum.
E. diphyllum, Lodd. See Aceranthus diphyllus. - E. niveum is catalogued by Van Tubergen as a synonym of E. Musschianum, but the chances are that all the plants advertised as E. niveum are E. macranthum variety niveum. The spurs are so obviously longer in E. macranthum that there is no reason for confusion.