Plant of the month: April
Epimedium grandiflorum, is a member of the Berberidaceae family and examples can be found in the Gardens around the Fountain, in the Rock Garden and along Azalea Walk.
Epimediums are charming woodland species which are spring flowering. They are said to be deciduous but we usually cut the previous year’s leaves away in late winter so that the flowers can be displayed as new flowers can be hidden beneath the old foliage.
The flowers range in colour from white, yellow, pink and purple to striking bicolour. The flowers are characteristically spider like and delicate looking, produced in small sprays in April and early May. Surprisingly they look nothing like the Berberis flowers to which they are closely related.
New foliage produced after flowering is often copper coloured and held on wiry stems above the robust rhizome.
Epimedium grandiflorum is a parent in many new hybrids and can be very variable, Epimedium grandiflorum subsp. koreanum with pale yellow flowers could be mistaken for this plant.