2001 Theodore Klein Plant Award Winner
by Winston C. Dunwell Flower image by Dr. Robert L. Geneve.
Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum'
Bicolor barrenwort, is a hybrid of E. grandiflorum x E. pinnatum ssp. colchicum. Tony Avent (calls it "Fairy Wings") says in his Plant Delights catalog that it was introduced "From Belgium's Ghent Botanic Garden prior to 1850". Landscape gardeners are constantly searching for a plant that is tolerant of shady dry sites under trees. E. 'Sulphureum' is an excellent plant for such sites, but it is popular not for being tolerant of very difficult conditions (like most plants it likes a well-drained moist soil that has been amended with O.M. in a shaded area that gets some sun), but for it's beautiful green foliage with red mottling in the spring, ground cover effect, and it's yellow flowers. The compound leaves have 5-11 leaflets of various sizes and shapes. This plant is frequently seen in Botanic gardens as a 12-15 inch tall ground cover with green summer foliage. It is propagated by division (most common form of propagation, ideally for the gardener in the spring after flowering, but it's tolerance allows it to be moved almost anytime) and late-spring rhizome cuttings. Transplants are potted in the fall or winter and grown on to salable size in the spring. Container size is dictated by the market but quarts are common. For images of more Epimedium species see http://home.earthlink.net/%7Edarrellpro/