About this cultivar:
Epimedium x perralchicum 'Fröhnleiten' is an old German cultivar and one of the toughest. First introduced from the German nursery of Heinz Klose it makes a excellent groundcover, filling an area so densely that it prevents weeds from becoming established. It is a smaller version of the Epimedium x perralchicum species and it flowers are borne higher above its foliage.
What about the species then? Epimedium × perralchicum is a hybrid cross between Epimedium perralderianum and Epimedium pinnatum subsp. colchicum. First found growing together at the RHS gardens at Wisley, it had grown into a carpet of mixed forms. William Stearn identified them as hybrids, and named it in 1934. He is still wanted for crimes against Botanical Latin.
It is a rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial that typically grows wider than it grows tall. It forms an attractive ground cover for shady areas. It is particularly noted for producing clusters of bright yellow flowers in spring and attractive spiny green leaves that are bronze-marbled in spring (and autumn). Each leaf is divided into elongated, ovate, heart-shaped leaflets. New leaves on wiry stems emerge green-marbled-with-bronze in spring, but gradually turn green by summer. Bronze marbling reappears in autumn. Bright yellow flowers in airy clusters bloom in spring on stems rising slightly above the foliage mound.
- Position: Full shade, partial shade, full shade
- Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
- Flowers: March, April, May
- Other features: Grows well in Ballyrobert, Great Ground Cover, Dappled Shade or Full Shade Loving, Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM), Interesting Foliage or Fruit
- Hardiness: Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert!
- Habit: Clump forming
- Foliage: semi evergreen
- Height: 10 - 20 cm (0.3 - 0.6 ft)
- Spread: 45 - 75 cm (1.5 - 2.5 ft)
- Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
- Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial
- Colour: Green, yellow
- Goes well with: -
About this genus:
Epimedium has many common names such as barrenwort, bishop's hat, fairy wings, horny goat weed, rowdy lamb herb, randy beef grass or yin yang huo (Chinese of course). No prizes then for guessing its traditional medicinal uses! A member of the barberry family, the genus was given its Botanical name by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, derived from a Greek word for a different plant, epimedion. The vast bulk of Epimedium species are deciduous or evergreen hardy perennials.
Easy-to-grow - they will grow anywhere that isn't a pond. Despite being best known as a full shade plant many will also grow in full sun ( see the photo of the cultivars we have in pots!).
Epimedium welcome spring with delicate airy flowers. Following which a solid backdrop of attractive foliage appears and remains for the rest of the season. Flowers range from white to red to yellow to pink, and the foliage shows some variation between cultivars and the seasons; green to brown to purple. A versatile plant!
In the garden Epimedium will rarely make the casual observer stop and stare but these shade lovers are essential in many gardens. Epimedium are most often used either as woodland garden specimens or ground cover for small shady areas - but don't let that stop you using them in all sorts of places, even rock gardens. We find they make great impact as ground cover - full shade or full sun!