In our garden, Epimedium x warleyense is the first of the genus to flower and it never fails to delight. The sprays of unusual coppery orange coloured flowers, held high on thin wiry stems,
seem almost to hover above ground. The effect is delicate, yet this clump forming plant is tough and a very efficient suppressor of weeds. Almost simultaneously the pretty, heart shaped leaves emerge; and they remain looking good well into autumn and through winter until it is time to prune them to the ground the following February, well before the cycle starts all over again. If you forget to do this, it not only looks untidy but you will not be able to fully appreciate the flowers.
E x warleyense grows to about 30-40 cms high and is very happy in dappled to full shade.
This hybrid epimedium was found in the garden of the well known horticulturist Ellen Willmott, and was named after her garden by William Stearn in 1932. Warley Place is now a nature reserve owned by Essex Wildlife Trust and it looks to me to be a marvellous place to visit.