Today, in what I call a skilfully avoidance of other pressing things to do, I will contribute a bit towards the Chapter about fruits-seeds-germination of the Epimedium. It is still about seeds, isn’t it?

The fact that Epimediums are self-incompatible is widely known by now, which means that – if one is lucky to see developing fruits, these will be of hybrid origin (from whatever parent species happen to be around :). They may be true to species only if you own a few plants of the same species from different sources (but even then you cannot be too sure). Further than this, things become a little fuzzy, with contradictory informations, although quite a few new hybrids are showing up year after year.

So, this is what I have to share for now:


A picture with fatty fruits I have just found ready to open on Epimedium ‘Amber Queen’ (from Lost Horizons)

Epimedium 'Amber Queen' fruits

Epimedium ‘Amber Queen’ fruits


Another picture with fruits of Epimedium davidii ‘Wolong Dwarfs’

Epimedium davidii 'Wolong Dwarfs' fruits

Epimedium davidii ‘Wolong Dwarfs’ fruits


A picture with Epimedium seeds showing something like elaiosomes (very much like Corydalis, Sanguinaria, Asarum, and so on)

Epimedium 'Amber Queen' seeds

Epimedium ‘Amber Queen’ seeds


A great website that I have recently discovered; lots of Epimedium images and also some info on their germination – The Magnolias Garden Website (despite the name, they are the holders of Epimedium National Collection in England)


A piece of information from Tony Avent – PDN (sharing from Darell Probst) that Epimedium seed require 60 days below 40˚F to germinate.


Another piece of information from a scientific study on seeds & germination of Epimedium wushanense claiming that “germination rate and germination potential after stratification under 5˚C (for 90 days) were significantly higher…”


And the fact that, I will handle the seeds like I did with all the other species ‘elaiosomes bearing’ which is, store them in moist vermiculite/outdoors temperature. I’ll also keep a few seeds dry-stored as a variant until late fall, when I’ll proceed with a cold stratification.

If anyone else cares to share…


2 replies
  1. Amy Olmsted
    Amy Olmsted says:

    I have collected a bunch of seed pods from a few different cultivars at work and there are still a few more to gather. I’ll try the moist vermiculite storage until winter. I tried sowing a bunch into moist potting mix and leaving them out to the elements last summer with no germination this spring….so I’m game for any other methods.

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      That’s great if we can exchange info. Epimedium seed germinate when naturally fall on the soil around -I have two seedlings around Amber Queen.
      On the Magnolia website, they obtained germination with keeping the pods in a paper bag till August and then sowing. If you have more seeds try this one too.
      (I am also thinking that being hybrids maybe some of the seeds are not viable actually, no matter what you do)

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