Epimedium grandiflorum var. higoense 'Bandit'

epimedium Bandit    Perennial of the Month-- January 2007 

(ep-eh-MEE-DEE-um  gran-di-FLOR-um  hig-o-ENSE) (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name: Bandit Longspur Barrenwort

Family: Berberidaceae, Barberry

Height x width: 12" (6" in bloom)  x 12"

Growth rate; habit: slow to establish, slowly spreading upright clump

Foliage: compound with assymetrical heart-shaped leaflets about 1-2" long, attractive dark purple band around leaf edges

Flowers: creamy-white with long spurs and a "cup", 7/8-1 3/8", somewhat resembling columbine; 6" high in bloom followed by taller leaves, May bloom in New England

Hardiness: USDA zones 4-8

Soil: prefers much organic matter, even moisture, must have good drainage; will tolerate dry as under trees once established

Light: part shade (especially south), to shade

Pests and problems: none significant (can be chewed by rabbits)

Landscape habit, uses: front of shady border, woodland areas, groundcover, raised beds in shade

Other interest: one of the relatively new cultivars of this genus, named by epimedium expert Darrell Probst in 2000 and originating from a clone obtained from Japan through We-Du nursery in 1981; outstanding for its hardiness, leaflets, and many showy flowers. More flowers, leaf banding than straight variety

Other culture: growth is by underground rhizomes which do not tolerate rapid freezing and thawing, so in northern climates a thin layer of winter mulch may help

Propagation: division in spring after flowering, or summer

Sources: Garden Vision (63 Williamsville Road, Hubbardston, MA 01452)

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