Something to brighten up a shady spot in the garden, Epimedium grandiflorum Lilafee
Interesting foliage, bright amethyst flowers held above fresh bronze leaves, a plant happy in shade, dry shade even, and under tree canopies – a recent (2012) introduction and sure to be a winner. The flowers are not showy or show-stopping, like the paeony or rose, but the combination of these intricate spring flowers and great greenery will make this a very useful and interesting addition to the shade border.
A lovely genus, (from the Berberis family) from Europe and Asia, they are related to other woodland perennials, such as Vancouveria, Podophyllum, Jeffersonia and Diphylleia. Epimediums from Europe are often some of the most tolerant of dry shade, this includes, Epimedium alpinum, rubrum, pinnatum & pubigerum but also the hybrids involving these, such as Epimedium x versicolor and youngianum, are also good garden plants. Japanese species of Epimedium such as grandiflorum are easy to grow but maybe not for the driest spots. The majority of species come from China with a huge range of forms and species, many of which make a great choice for the north side of a wall or a bed that recieves some irrigation in eastern UK and typical shade garden borders in the western parts of the country, with the higher rainfall.