Early bloomer


Epimedium brachyrrhizum

Epimedium brachyrrhizum    (Several clones/Cc. numbers)  

Discovered in 1994 in Guizhou Province, China, it is one of the shortest species at only 6-8" tall, and among the largest flowered and earliest to bloom, with lavender-pink flowers nearly 2" across! New leaflets may be handsomely mottled with red-maroon in spring. Dark evergreen leaflets have a distinct corrugated surface, and many clones take on maroon overtones in fall.    Not available in 2018.

Epimedium brachyrrhizum 'Karen'

Epimedium brachyrrhizum ‘Karen’  (Cc. 940526)

After years of trialing this plant against other superior forms of E. brachyrrhizum this stands out as the best for its prolific, large flowers in a soft shade of lavender-pink, combined with large leaves, heavily mottled with deep cranberry-rose in the spring. E. brachyrrhizum just happens to be one of my favorite Epimediums, so Darrell named this outstanding clone in my honor. 7” tall. Evergreen.  Not available in 2018. 

Epimedium brevicornu

Epimedium brevicornu    (Several clones/Cc. numbers)  

A beautiful hardy, deciduous species native to the northern regions in China where Epimediums are not normally found. These are divisions from plants collected during Darrell’s 2001 expedition to Henan Province where no Epimediums had been previously recorded. Produces an 8 to 10” high mass of small, rather round, heart-shaped leaflets. Numerous 10” long spikes carry “clouds” of small, star-shaped white flowers, each with short, reflexed spurs with a hint of yellow in the center. New leaflets may be speckled with reddish-purple and are thin and reminiscent of parchment paper to the touch. Hardy to Zone 4 and perhaps even 3.   $18

Epimedium grandiflorum 'Dark Beauty'

E. grandiflorum   ‘Dark Beauty’  (Cc. 950132)  

Harold Epstein admired this plant for its velvety, deep chocolate-purple new spring foliage. It appeared as a seedling in his garden from an apparent cross between ‘Yubae’ and ‘Silver Queen’. Its large flowers have beautiful dark rose inner-sepals and white petals/spurs flushed with rose. Small leaflets. 8” in bloom with second flush to 12”.  One of the first “Eps” to emerge and bloom each year in the nursery.   $12

Epimedium grandiflorum 'Queen Esta'

E. grandiflorum   ‘Queen Esta’  (Cc. 920021)   

A beautiful cultivar named by Harold Epstein after his wife, Esta. It was the first named seedling ever introduced from his garden. Notable for its large flowers with dark lavender inner-sepals and pale lavender spurs held against purple new spring foliage. It grows 6-8” tall in bloom, with a second flush of new leaves to 12”.  Small leaflets. One of the earliest E. grandiflorums to bloom in spring.   $12

Epimedium grandiflorum 'Silver Queen'

E. grandiflorum   ‘Silver Queen’  (Cc. 900003)    

Often incorrectly labeled as ‘White Queen’ in the U.S. The large white flowers have silvery lavender highlights on the inner-sepals. 7" tall in bloom, second flush to 11". Very textural with leaves usually divided into 27 small leaflets flushed a delicate mahogany in spring. A parent of many cultivars. It is one of the earliest of Epimediums to emerge and bloom in spring.  $10

Epimedium grandiflorum var. violaceum

E. grandiflorum var. violaceum      (Cc. 890001)

Exquisite deep chocolate, small, spring leaflets form a lovely background for the large, lavender flowers. One of the very earliest Epimediums to emerge and bloom in the nursery. Makes a clump 8-10” in bloom, with a second growth flush to 12”.   $10

Epimedium grandiflorum var. violaceum 'Bronze Maiden'

E. grandiflorum var. violaceum  ‘Bronze Maiden’  (Cc. 920016)

***1999 Cobblewood Introduction***

Spring leaflets emerge a glossy mahogany-red, resembling molten chocolate.  This intense color lasts about a month in our climate and complements the medium-sized lavender flowers. 8” in bloom, with a second growth flush to 12”. Semi-evergreen. $15

Epimedium sempervirens 'Snowshoe Lake'

Epimedium sempervirens ‘Snowshoe Lake’

(Cc. 950033)
***2014 Cobblewood Introduction***

A white flowered very floriferous form of this extremely early bloomer. Sited in bright shade or a couple of hours of sun a day, it will produce clouds of clean white medium-sized flowers, 6” above the ground at the first thaw. Leaflets sport a delicate red line along their margins in early spring.

A cheerful and fitting tribute to my brother George who lived on Snowshoe Lake in Alaska. 8-10” at maturity. $15

Epimedium stellulatum "Narrow Leaf Forms"

Epimedium stellulatum  “Narrow Leaf Forms” (Sev. clones/Cc. #)  

NACPEC (North American China Plant Exploration Consortium, is a group of ten botanic gardens and arboreta from across the U.S. and Canada, organized by the National Arboretum to explore areas of China on an annual or semi-annual basis. NACPEC has made several exciting discoveries, including this group of Epimedium stellulatum.

Discovered in several areas in the Qin Ling Shan of Shaanxi Province in 1996, the evergreen leaflets are medium in size, narrower than the original form and have especially spiny margins. 12-18”. The flowers are small white “stars” with tiny yellow petals on long, erect stems held well above the leaves. The floral display is like a miniature constellation suspended above spiny evergreen foliage. Early flowering and long-blooming, 12-18” tall. Hardy to Zone 4, possibly 3. Fall ship only.  $22

Epimedium sutchuenense

Epimedium sutchuenense   (Several clones/Cc. Numbers)

From the mountains of southern Shaanxi and northwest Hubei Provinces where it blankets the slopes at approximately 6,000’ elevation. Superficially resembling E. leptorrhizum, with large, lavender-mauve flowers and long, thin 8-12" rhizomes. It produces two leaves on every flower stem, each with three medium-sized leaflets. Uniformly short at less than 6” tall. Forms an excellent, very low, evergreen ground cover.  $15

Iris cristata 'Montrose White'

Iris cristata ‘Montrose White’

***2010 Joe Pye Weed's Garden Introduction***
A showy, strong-growing white form, originally from Nancy Goodwin at Montrose Nursery. Its large, nearly 3” diameter flowers are unique among the “albas”. Grows to 6” tall. (Photo courtesy of Jan Sacks) Not available in 2018.

Iris odaesanensis

Iris odaesanensis

Pristine white flowers with a yellow signal edged in a thin, brown halo. Two flowers, each nearly 2” in diameter, are borne atop 8” stems in late May. Semi-evergreen leaves expand after bloom to reach 12” long, 1/2” wide, forming dense clumps of arching foliage. Prefers a little more sun than Epimediums. $12

Iris odaesanensis Chuwangsan #3

Iris odaesanensis “Chuwangsan #3”

I. odaesanensis was previously known to exist only on the top of Odae-san (san = mountain). To the surprise of his Korean host from Chollipo Arboretum, Darrell found a few pockets of it growing on a wooded rocky ledge on Chuwangsan, 100 miles south of Odaesan. He collected three unique clones.

The flowers of this vigorous grower lack the typical brown halo surrounding the signal. It also seems to be less tasty to the local slugs. Semi-evergreen.  $12

Jeffersonia dubia

Jeffersonia dubia

Blooms very early, before the Epimediums emerge, but fades quickly if the weather gets hot. Blossoms 1" in diameter are of the palest blue-lavender and are held above rounded, wavy-edged leaves. Plants bloom at 6”, each leaf expands to 4” diam. Forms a dense clump 12” tall. These plants are 3-year seedlings as Jeffersonia still defies division. (Photo by Jan Sacks) Not available in 2018.

Jeffersonia dubia "Dark Centers"

Jeffersonia dubia “Dark Centers”

This plant provides a pop of welcome early spring color as soon as the ground thaws. New leaflets emerge a rusty brown color to contrast with the periwinkle blue/lavender petals. A cranberry colored ovary and dark purple/black anthers add to its charm. Three year old seedlings from plants Darrell collected in the wild in Korea.  $22

Lathyrus vernus 'Albo-roseus'

Lathyrus vernus ‘Albo-roseus’

Another tough, long-lived perennial native to Europe for either full sun or partial shade. It tolerates many situations and is a good foliage plant throughout the season. Showy racemes of bi-colored pink and white pea-like flowers in earliest spring, on neat clumps to 18”. Leaves pinnately compound. Easy to grow and long-lived. (Photo by Jan Sacks)  Not available in 2018.

Sanguinaria canadensis 'Venus'

Sanguinaria canadensis  'Venus' formerly “Pink Form”   

In earliest spring, the buds of this native shade-loving Bloodroot variant emerge a deep pink. The showy wide-petaled flowers open light pink, and fade to shell pink. Dark pink stems on both leaves and flowers. The reverse sides of the petals remain a darker pink, repeatedly displaying their rich pink blush when they close each evening. Gradually spreads to form a large colony over time.  $25