Goryanka, or the inimitable elven flower epimedium
Epimedium, or Goryanka, is often called ideal for filling the soil under trees and shrubs with a plant. The groundcover culture with unusually spectacular leaves in the West is known primarily for its flowering: touching and delicate, it in a secluded light seems like a fabulous vision. It is for the elegant flowers that the epimedium received the nickname "Elven Flower". Rapid growth, the ability to fill the soil in the shortest possible time - not all the talents of this plant.
The spectacular appearance of a not quite ordinary groundcover
Epimedium is better known under the name of Goryanka. Weightless, trembling, very delicate flowers of the plant really create fabulous illusions and in their magical influence and mystery can be equated only to aquilegia.
Epimediums are herbaceous perennials that form a dense and very beautiful cover of leaves on long petioles up to half a meter. Some epimediums are denser, others are friable, and the effect of patterned or lacy curtains directly depends on the density of the leaves. The branched, growing horizontally rhizome gradually spreads, releasing new leaves and gradually dies in the center.
Epimediums unite about 50 species of winter-green and deciduous plants, although foliage hybrids are most often semi-green. Beautiful, twice or thrice pinnate, large enough, with a core or arrow-shaped leaves differ in a leathery, dense surface and unusual colors. In some goryanka, the leaves are very bright and pure green, in others they are decorated with uneven spots of purple or orange along the veins and edges of the leaf, which makes them so attractive. Evergreen varieties all winter they decorate the gardens with a luxurious canopy, change leaves in the next season, in May; ordinary drop leaves after the first frost.
Epimedium blooms in Maywhen on the canopy of luxurious leaves graceful flowers seem to be shy looking through. Reaching 2 cm in diameter, they are not like other garden plants. The epimedium owes its original form of flowers to sepals arranged in two rows, while the outer small "petals" fall off after opening, and the inner ones are located crosswise, originally emphasizing the shape of a divided or whole and magnificent corolla. In many epimediums, the petals are decorated with spurs. The unusual form is only emphasized by subtle peduncles that create the illusion of either weightless, shining inflorescences of several flowers soaring in the air, or shyly looking through young leaves of curious fairy-tale creatures.
The goryanka color palette combines various combinations and unusual shades of white, red, purple and yellow tones.
Epimediums do not lose their decorativeness for decades. Some species are prone to the death of the center of the curtains and at the first signs of this process it is better to separate and transplant them, but most grow in one place for more than 10 years.
Types of goryanka
Epimediums are still not very common, but deserve wider use in the design of gardens by plants. These are universal and very “obedient” cultures, capable of creating amazingly spectacular accents and covers.
Today, in landscape design in the middle band, such types of bitterness are increasingly used as:
- most popular epimedium large-flowered with wintering heart-shaped bronze leaves forming a canopy up to 30 cm high, luxurious large flowers in inflorescences up to 15 pcs;
- one of the most beautiful winter green Epimedium Perralderi, forming a very dense cover about 30 cm high of triple leaves, changing color from bronze to dark green, decorated with a wavy edge and large, yellow-with-red border, flowers collected in a brush;
- epimedium wars, forming dense and high jackets up to 50 cm in height with leaves reddening in autumn and delicate touching inflorescences;
- hybrid epimedium cantabrian with winter-green foliage in loose, lace sods up to 60 cm high and weightless peduncles with small white-pink, but numerous flowers;
- distinguished by the edge on the underside and petioles of leaves and red-yellow flowers gooseberry downy;
- Cirrus goryanka - a half-meter perennial with beautiful cirrus-dissected leaves and very elegant, but rare inflorescence tassels with plain-looking flowers;
- slightly lower, 35 to 40 cm in height epimedium red with pink flowers decorated with white stripes and very beautiful purple young leaves, which then create a dense green cover;
- hybrid medium-sized goryanka multi-colored with dense sods of arrow-shaped leaves with a very beautiful purple color in young leaves;
- not exceeding 30 cm in height Bitter Mountain Evergreen Colchis with very spectacular leaves, changing color in the fall to bronze and metallic overflows, and yellow flowers similar to orchids (forms a medium-dense canopy);
- forming amazingly beautiful textured carpets deciduous small-leaved epimedium korean up to 20 cm high with graceful, beautiful white-purple flowers;
- stunted, only up to 20 cm tall and drought tolerant goryanka snow with young bronze leaves, a bright summer green color and a brown autumn outfit, whose large flowers are gathered in spectacular brushes;
- same undersized but slow growing Epimedium is magnificent with cirrus, bronze and gradually greening leaves, hanging white or purple flowers that bloom at the very beginning of spring (needs a bright place or partial shade);
Best of evergreen varieties:
- multi-colored epimedium "Sulfurum" with unusually spectacular leaves, on which green streaks shine brightly, and then this rich color covers all the plates and gives even greater effect to the dense canopy;
- epimedium Perralderi "Frohnleiten" with yellow inflorescences and glossy, radiant leaves;
- large flowered epimedium "Lilafey" and Lilacinum with lilac flowers with delicate petals;
- goryanka large-flowered "Rose Queen" with pink spectacular flowers that seem shining;
- large-flowered epimedium "White Queen"whose large flowers seem delightfully fresh and almost pearly;
- grade Goryanka of Varly "Orange Konigin" with larger flowers and evergreen leaves.
Application in the design of gardens:
- as a groundcover and for landscape thickets under shrubs and trees, especially large ones;
- in natural flower beds and massifs;
- to decorate shady areas and the northern sides of alpine hills and rockeries;
- as a filler of soil in shading or a “connector” in decorative compositions;
- for texture spots on lawns and clearings from groundcover.
The best partners for the goryanka will be: primrose, ferns, hosta, medunica, tiarella, small bulb crops, aquilegia.
Conditions needed by the epimediums
Epimediums are one of the most reliable and unpretentious garden perennials. They easily adapt to different lighting conditions, however, its features most often affect flowering and its attractiveness. The bitterness bloom most of all in the penumbra, but at the same time the leaves of the culture do not lose either beauty, nor the thickness of the cover, nor the ability to change colors from season to season in the thickest shade and in the scorching sun. They adore the neighborhood of trees and shrubs, perfectly drape the ground under them.
But the choice of soil characteristics needs to be paid more attention. Epimediums are sensitive to excess moisture, waterlogging, so they can not be planted in places with a high occurrence of groundwater and in moist soils. This plant is ideal for any wet, fresh, well-developed, loose and permeable soil with a sandy or clay texture and a high content of manure or other organics. The acidity of the soil should be neutral.
Goryanka is planted so that the rhizome is buried 5 cm from the soil line. The optimal distance between seedlings is 35-40 cm.
For the most part, bitterness love at least light, but constant soil moisture. Among them there are drought-resistant species, but if you want to achieve the highest decorativeness and abundant flowering, it is better to provide plants with watering during a drought.
Epimediums do not require intensive top dressing. A layer of mulch for the winter will minimize procedures - single feeding with organic or full mineral fertilizers (nitrophosic) in early spring. Epimedium itself is able to become a source of fertilizer for the surrounding trees and shrubs. After dying, the leaves of epimedium become a valuable source of nutrients and play the role of ordinary organic mulch for any plants. At the same time, both deciduous and evergreen varieties of epimedium are capable of performing this function.
Pay special attention to preparing for the winter. Goryanka is not afraid of frost, but does not react too well to snowless winters. In order to protect them from temperature extremes and other unpleasant surprises, enough mulch the root system under the canopy of leaves, creating a thick protective layer of compostand. In the first years after planting, especially if you have acquired epimedium, which is not adapted to your area, even winter-green varieties not only mulch, but also cover with dry leaves. Remove shelter with leaves immediately after snow.
Evergreen bitterness shed their leaves in early May, but the process is very slow and delays the blooming of young leaves. That's why in winter-green epimediums, it is better to remove leaves manually after winter, stimulating both powerful flowering and faster growth. Trimming foliage to soil level, no matter how beautiful it may seem, must be done immediately after the snow has melted. But the mulching layer should not be removed until the disappearance of strong night frosts.
Epimediums do not need protection from pests and diseases: they are immune to typical garden fungal infections and even insects. Their only enemy is slugs that can eat up young leaves. If there are signs of defeat, take control measures - set traps, collect manually, use mulching with straw.
Planting and reproduction of epimedium
Epimediums grow rapidly and grow well, they begin to form dense covers from the second year after planting. And to obtain new plants, they can be separated not only for signs of aging, but also for needs at almost any age of two years.
Epimedium is propagated by rhizome segments. Goryanka is divided in August or at the very beginning of September, separating segments of rhizomes with at least 2-3 kidneys. For protection, the divided epimedium should be immediately mulched with compost and dry leaves.
This plant is rarely propagated by seeds, but they require stratification. Initially, the seeds withstand 3 weeks at a temperature of 15-20 degrees, then - 1 month at 2-5 degrees. Epimedium will not cause trouble at the seedling stage, but will bloom later, only after 3-4 years. Seedlings are planted at a distance of about 40 cm from each other.