A new and, as they say, improved version of Epimedium x rubrum, Galadriel has the usual heart-shaped red-tinged leaves, above which float in spring very striking two-toned red and white starry flowers, larger than the species and with little in the way of yellow at the centres. Fairy wings indeed, and with a nod to Tolkien in the varietal name, this is one other-worldy plant. Best with some shade. Any reasonable soil. 12 to 15 in. 2 litre pot.


Epimedium x rubrum, of which Galadriel is a named variety, is a cross between the two species Epimedium Alpinum and Epimedium Grandiflorum, and typically has four-winged spurred stars for flowers, red on the backs and white inside, with yellow centres. Galadriel loses the yellow tinge, so emphasising the contrast between red and white, and the flowers are larger in size and so make for a more vivid display in spring, when the red flushed foliage is coming through. Lovely.

As for the name Galadriel, she is a character created by J R R Tolkien and appearing in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tolkien describes Galadriel as ‘the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-earth’, which might offer some reason why the name was chosen, as Epimedium is known as Elfenblume (elf flower) in German. Well, that’s our theory, anyway.

Epimedium Galadriel is deciduous, so pretty much all the care that is required is to cut back the old dead clump of foliage when appropriate. The flowers and new foliage will come through in early spring (or as the weather dictates). The red flush to the young foliage tends to give way to dark green as the season progresses, then in autumn it all reddens up again before yielding to winter.

Epimedium x rubrum Galadriel is a hardy perennial with red tinged heart shaped leaves and red and white star shaped flowers in spring suitable for shade.

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