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Epimedium pinnatum ssp colchicum

21st April 2006

I get very confused with these large yellow flowered species, I suspect because they are rather confused in cultivation, or possibly because they are simpy not easily distinguished. Epimedium pinnatum has five leaflets (sometimes more). The large yellow flowers are freely borne in large heads. I was so uncertain about my old plant, that I went out and bought another to compare it with! This is what I got, a lovely plant, the distinguishing feature is the small dark spur on the petal, which should lie back against the broad yellow sepal. Unfortunately, for all my faith in the identity of this plant, it does not show this feature. In the very similar E.perralderianum there are only three leaflets, and the petal spurs curve forwards into the cup of the flower. In the hybrid between the species, E. x perralchicum, the characteristics are intermediate! I get confused.

23rd March 2007

8th April 2007

This is my original plant. I have grown it for decades, I am still not convinced of its identity. Every year I sit down and look at it closely. I am hoping that I will realise its identity when I finally run out of ways of perplexing myself.

2nd April 2009

This is the way I want to see the petal spur!

29th March 2012

16th March 2017

9th March 2019


  • Barker, David G. - Epimedium and other herbaceous Berberidaceae, Hardy Plant Society, 1997
  • Stearn, William T. - Epimedium, 2002.