Below, I have described the mid-sized Epimedium species including the very popular Epimedium grandiflorum in order to help you select the best plants for your site. There are too many Epimediums to list in a single article so check out the others in the series to see other categories such as small Epimediums or spider-type Epimediums. The most familiar group of epimediums are mid-sized plants that represent what most folks typically think of as epimediums. Plants in this group average around 18″ tall x 18″ wide and are composed of several species and hybrid groups. From smallest to largest, they include E. sempervirens, E. x youngianum (E. diphyllum x E. grandiflorum), E. grandiflorum, E. koreanum, and a series of interspecific hybrids. Plantsman Darrell Probst has interesting theories on these confusing groups and their origin that he will hopefully publish one day. Epimedium sempervirens (Zone 5-8) is a similar Japanese species to E. diphyllum, except for having evergreen (from Zone 7 south) foliage, larger flowers and about 1/3 larger plant size. E. sempervirens produces flower stalks reaching 12-15″ tall with 6-10 flowers each, also in colors ranging from white to lavender. Epimedium sempervirens is usually a tight clumping species, although some forms can spread a bit. Another trait of E. sempervirens is the new leaves often emerge with a lovely red flush. Epimedium sempervirens is represented in the trade by Epimedium ‘Candy Hearts’ (red edged leaves and pale lavender), Epimedium ‘Cherry Hearts’ (red edged leaves and white flowers), Epimedium ‘Mars’ (red-purple flowers), Epimedium ‘Okuda’s White’ (white flowers), and Epimedium ‘Violet Queen’ (red-flushed foliage and light lavender flowers). The major drawback to E. sempervirens is the tendency of the second spring flush of foliage to obscure the flowers. Epimedium grandiflorum (Zone 4-8) is a winter deciduous Japanese species that represents the majority of the epimedium cultivars in commercial trade. Like E. sempervirens, most forms are tight clumpers, although a few may have longer rhizomes. Many of the earlier selections of E. grandiflorum have large flowers produced among or just slightly atop the foliage, usually obscured by the second spring flush. Selections of E. grandiflorum in the trade include Epimedium grandiflorum var. higoense ‘Bandit’ (dwarf plant with red-edged leaves and white flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Benedict’s Violet’ (lavender flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum var. violaceum ‘Bronze Maiden’ (chocolate foliage and light lavender flowers), Epimedium ‘Cranberry Sparkle’ (chocolate new leaves and cranberry red flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Dark Beauty’ (chocolate leaves and white cup and spurs/purple outer sepals), Epimedium ‘Lavender Lady’ (dark purple buds opening to light lavender flowers) , Epimedium ‘Lilafee’ (bronze mottled foliage and lavender purple flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Pierre’s Purple’ (dark purple flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Princess Susan’ (white cups and spurs with purple outer sepals), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Purple Prince’ (dark purple cup with light lavender spurs), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Red Queen’ (carmine red), Epimedium ‘Saxton’s Purple’ (light lavender flowers), Epimedium ‘Silver Queen’ (white flowers), Epimedium ‘Spring Wedding’ (red edged leaves, pale lavender flowers), Epimedium ‘Swallowtail’ (red edged leaves and light lavender flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Tama-no-gempei’ (white cups and spurs, purple outer sepals), Epimedium ‘Waterfall’ (rose purple flower with white spurs), Epimedium ‘Yellow Princess’ (light yellow flowers), and Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Yubae’ (purple foliage, cranberry flowers). With the exception of E. grandiflorum ‘Swallowtail’, the other E. grandiflorum selections don’t pick up their nice leaf coloration until after flowering. Epimedium koreanum (Zone 3-7) was long considered a subspecies of E. grandiflorum, but was finally split out as a species on it’s own. As the name indicates, it is found in Korea and northern Japan. While most E. grandiflorum outside of Northern Japan where E. grandiflorum var. flavescens resides, E. grandiflorum has flowers of white to purple, while E. koreanum has yellow flowers. Also, the deciduous E. koreanum spreads 6-12″ per year via rhizomes compared to the typically clumping E. grandiflorum. In the trade, E. koreanum is represented by two selections, Epimedium koreanum ‘Harold Epstein’ (light yellow flowers on red stems), and Epimedium ‘La Rocaille’ (creamy flowers). We hope you have enjoyed this discussion of Epimedium grandiflorum and other mid-sized species and that you will read the other articles in our Epimedium series.