Epimedium warleyense - Orange Queen Epimedium - May 2023

Last week, we popped into the annual Morton Arboretum Arbor Day Plant Sale and picked up a few new (to us) perennials and some vegetables and herbs that I'll be posting over the coming days/weeks as I get each of them in the ground.  My plan is to plant as much as possible while the temps are low and before our mulch arrives.  

The first plant in was bought as a solo container.  I know, I know.  That's a big gardening mistake that I actively try to avoid, but from time-to-time I buy a single - mostly with the kids.  This is one of those cases - as the KotBTs picked this one out and planted it in 'his garden' in the backyard. 

I have a small colony of existing Epimedium - Amber Queen - that I planted on the north side bed under some trees.  Those, too, were brought home from the Morton Sale back in 2020.  It is a slow-to-establish plant for me - and that's part of the reputation.  And, it spreads by rhizomes (which...I think I'm seeing my first new plant that popped up this Spring).  But, it works hard as a ground cover in dry shade.

For the past few years, I've had 'use more groundcover' on my to-do list - this year, it is #17.  So, buying another Epimedium checks that box.  

This particular Epimedium has a few things that we were drawn-to:  orange colored flowers. Evergreen.  Drought-tolerant.  Pretty nice.  Here's what White Flower Farm says about the Orange Queen:

Epimedium collectors will covet this fine hybrid of E. warleyense, a species prized for its unique, coppery orange flowers. Those of 'Orange Queen' ('Orangekonigin') are lighter, ranging from apricot to primrose, and borne on more compact plants. The heart-shaped leaves emerge with a rosy blush in spring and turn bronzy in fall. Easily grown and a good spreader.

Interest in this genus has increased over the past 2 decades as horticulturists brought back new species and varieties from explorations in China. Epimediums make good ground covers and are one of the choice plants for shade.
There are Epimedium collectors?  Who knew.  I wonder what it takes to call something a collection?  We now have two varieties.  With a third on the way (coming soon).  Maybe I'm an Epimedium Collector, huh?

We planted this on the north side bed, in the understory garden.  It is planted in-front-of the second (from the patio) Viburnum tree-form and right by this Ben Vernooy hosta that we planted last Fall and an anemome Pamina that is against the fence.  Below is a look at the Orange Queen after being planted:

Orange Queen Epimedium

Here's my 2023 Morton Arboretum Plant Sale Posts:


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