Epimedium

Epimedium

They had come wrapped in craft paper, formed into a little toothpaste sized tube. Supposedly 5 plants of this taxa, in reality 5 short pencil thin rhizomes. I had ordered as many of the listed species as I could reasonably afford, I had a lot of tiny tubes. I wasn’t holding my breath for them amounting to much. Chen Yi had gotten a bit of a bum rap, though never confessed undoubtably most of her plants were harvested on the dwindling wild hillsides of China. If  what I had received was any indication there were more collected Epimediums powdered in jars in any one of our numerous Chinese apothacaries here in Vancouver then Chen Yi had shipped out globally in the span of her career. Far better in my garden than treating someone’s erectile difficulties. Perhaps I’m just anthropomorphizing that. Starting with a dribble of introductions from Roy Lancaster followed by more from Mikinori Ogisui and Darrell Probst the half dozen or so species cultivated in European gardens for the last 2 centuries has expanded to over 50. Chen Yi has never gotten much credit for any of these introductions, though she might be responsible for the bulk, truth to tell nothing much  she sent was every properly identified. I cherished the tiny fragments, by  the third year something labeled as Epimedium latisepalum had turned into a monstrous sized plant, Epimedium wushanese; a trifling tyrst became a torrid affair. Gallery of Epimedium