Thalictrum and Epimedium


Thalictrum (Meadow Rue) is one of my favorite plants. The texture of the foliage makes me want to pet it, and I love how long-lived and easy to take care of it is. There are many species of thalictrum of varying heights, foliage shapes, and bloom times. I have only a few so far. For some reason I find their beauty very hard to capture with a camera - these photos do not come close to doing them justice!

  • Thalictrum aquilegifolium (Columbine Meadow Rue) - Not surprisingly, this one has foliage that resembles columbine. Most of this type have flowers of that lurid pinkish-mauve that makes me feel slightly queasy. I have a white flowered form. Flowers in spring (May here), unlike most thalictrum which tend to be summer-bloomers.

Thalictrum aquilegifolium (Columbine Meadow Rue), white flowered form

  • Thalictrum delavayi ‘Hewitt’s Double’ - a tall species with double pink-violet flowers. This one did not survive the torrential rains of spring 2013.                    
  • Thalictrum glaucum - this one has absolutely gorgeous foliage of an indefinable blue-green-gray. The texture is fantastic. It gets tall and has yellow flowers in summer (which are really beside the point). For some reason I have not been able to capture this plant's beauty in a photo, despite numerous attempts! It has a density, life, and delicacy which just disappears when forced into two-dimensional space.

Thalictrum glaucum

  • Thalictrum ichangense ‘Evening Star’ - an unusual low-growing species from China, with rounded veined leaves and wonderful starry pink flowers.

Thalictrum ichangense 'Evening Star'

  • Thalictrum lucidum - a tall species with fragrant (rose-scented) creamy summer flowers. Unusual thin, ferny leaves of a good medium green.


My epimedium collection is small, but growing quickly. The foliage is as lovely to me as the flowers. Many species will grow in dry shade, which there is an unfortunate abundance of in my garden.
  • Epimedium 'Amber Queen' - orange-y flowers, long prickly leaves, red-mottled new growth

Epimedium 'Amber Queen' - spring foliage

  • Epimedium 'Kaguyahime' - pale pink flowers
  • Epimedium diphyllum nanum - teeny tiny epimedium with itty-bitty white flowers
  • Epimedium grandiflorum 'Yubae' - possibly the same cultivar as 'Rose Queen'. Large bright pink flowers. The foliage is a lovely rosy purple hue in spring.

New spring foliage of Epimedium grandiflorum 'Yubae'

  • Epimedium lishihchenii - sizeable, elongated saw-tooth leaves with a bronzey sheen, and pale yellow flowers. A very pretty epimedium.

Epimedium lishichenii
  • Epimedium pubigerum - creamy white flowers and rounded green leaves. A rather small variety.

New leaves of epimedium pubigerum in spring

  • Epimedium x perralchicum 'Frohnleiten' - yellow flowers and fabby red-veined foliage.  A sizeable cultivar. One of my favorite epimediums.

Epimedium x perralchicum 'Frohnleiten'
  • Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum' - a classic toughie with yellow flowers and good fall color. I'm hoping it will survive the tough conditions under my mature maples.
  • Epimedium x warleyense - peach/yellow flowers, reddish spring growth.

Epimedium x warleyense

1 comment:

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