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E is for Epimedium or Fairy Hat

 

Epimedium

Epimedium

E is for Epimedium, a beautiful lowgrowing groundcover with heart-shaped leaves that likes dry shade. I admired it for years, but never planted it because I thought it was tender.  That was a mistake. Epimediums are hardy in zone 5 where I live. My new house and garden might even be zone 6, the climate is changing so rapidly.

The MissouriBotanical Garden website says epimedium flowers are showy, and they are in their own way, but they are tiny. These little fairy hat, or bishop’s hat blossoms come in a variety of shapes and colors but you have to get down at plant level to really appreciate them. Or maybe my eyes are just not what they used to be.

Darrell Probst, epimedium expert and plant hunter, has a wonderful specialized nursery in Phillipston, Massachusetts, Garden Visions Epimediums. It is mostly a mail order nursery, but for those who live near enough he has a very few open days: April 29-May 1; May 6-8; May 20 and 22 (not 21).  Hours are 10-4, rain or shine. The extensive on-line catalog shows a full range of epimedium foliage and flowers.

Epimedium rubrum

Epimedium rubrum

I am participating in the A to Z Challenge where nearly 1000 bloggers will be posting every single day of April, except Sundays.  Can I do it?

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