Epimedium x warleyense
Description – This is a cross between E. alpinum with E. pinnatum subs. colchicum , which was first discovered growing in the garden of Warley Place, belonging to Miss Ellen Willmott. The garden is only a couple of miles from us and is now a nature reserve, run by the Essex Naturalists Trust. This is an excellent groundcover plant, forming a dense matt of rhizomes through which few weeds can penetrate. It is one of the tough older varieties of Epimedium, which you can cut off all of last year’s foliage, during early spring, to better display the flowers. This can be done with shears providing the timing is right. Too early and the leaf removal may leave the new flower stems more vulnerable to frost damage. Leave it too late and the new flowers will be too tall and sheared off with the old leaves. It is a matter of checking the development of the young shoots and cutting before they get too tall. For a very long time it was unique for its orange coloured flowers.