Lost Horizons Nursery, near Acton, ON boasts the most extensive Epimedium collection in Canada. This is thanks to its owner, Larry Davidson, who has managed to acquire with perseverance many species and varieties listed otherwise only in the catalogues of specialty nurseries from Europe and the States. Last time I counted there were over 110 varieties, species, hybrids and cv. altogether, and I probably missed a few. This certainly commands great admiration and gratitude for sharing them with us. After many years of being familiar only with E. alpinum, the first sight of the Chinese and Japanese Epimediums captivated me with their whirlpool of flower and leaf shapes, textures, colours and shades.
As pictures will become available, I plan to build an illustrated database of Epimedium grown not only at Lost Horizons, but also in other private gardens. I shall generally follow the only monograph of Epimedium, written by the late William T. Stearn – The genus Epimedium and other herbaceous Berberidaceae, ed. RBG Kew, 2002. This is the ‘must-have’ book for everyone wishing to get ‘serious’ about Epimedium. Although slow to gain popularity, Epimediums have become more present on the ornamental ‘market’ of the last decade; no doubt the result of the cumulate efforts of Mikinori Ogisu from Japan, Roy Lancaster, Robin White in UK, Darrell Probst, Tony Avent in USA, to name just the ones I know about. Many agree that these are exciting times, with more Epimedium species to be discovered from China, and of course, more hybrids and cultivars to be created!
In the ‘Cultivation of Epimedium’ chapter, William T. Stearn wrote: “Cultivation creates experimental environments for plants, and their behaviour in gardens may indicate the bounds of climatic tolerance and other factors limiting their range”. Hence knowing the origin and wild habitat provides valuable clues about their growing requirements. Moreover, in some cases, it helps identification. For this reason, the galleries will be organized according to the major geographical area origin.
This page will be forever ‘under construction’, with more sub-pages to be gradually added, so check back once in a while.
Check out the following links for good writings/websites about Epimedium:
Do not forget to check out the Epimedium Galleries to see amazing images with Chinese, Japanese, European and hybrids Epimediums and to read more about them.