Epimedium x perralchicum

20 Feb

Epimedium x perralchicum (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Epimedium x perralchicum (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Partial shade but will tolerate sun

Soil: Moist but well drained

Flowering period: Mid to late spring

Eventual Height: 40cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Berberidaceae

Epimedium x perralchicum is a robust, clump forming perennial, that spreads by rhizomes. It has glossy, dark green leaves that are bronze and mat when young. Each leave is divided into nine or sometimes three leaflets that may overlap at the base. Pendant, bright yellow flowers are produced on brown stalks in spring.

Epimedium x perralchicum Flower (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Epimedium x perralchicum Flower (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Epimedium x perralchicum is commonly known as Rowdy Lamb Herb, Horny Goat Weed, and Bishop’s Hat. Epimedium x peralchicum is a cross between Epimedium perralderianum and Epimedium pinnatum ssp colchicum. It was discovered originally in China to increase sexual activity in goats. This plant, called Ying Yang Huo in Chinese, is used in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of aliments. It is also sold as a herbal aphrodisiac.

The etymological root of the binomial name Epimedium is derived from the Greek name for this plant, used by Dioscorides and Pliny. Perralchicum appears to be a hybrid name created specifically for the cross of Epimedium perralderianum and Epimedium pinnatum ssp colchicum.

Epimedium x perralchicum is useful to the landscape architect as a frost hardy evergreen groundcover that will do well in shady locations including woodland setting. This plant provides swathes of yellow flowers in spring.

Ecologically,  Epimedium x perralchicum is of little value in the UK.

Epimedium x perralchicum Spring Leaf (23/04/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Epimedium x perralchicum Spring Leaf (23/04/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Epimedium x perralchicum their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Epimedium x perralchicum moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Epimedium x perralchicum requires little maintenance. In early spring dead or damaged leaves may be removed before the flowering period. To ensure the continued vigor of this plant it should be divided when clumps become crowded, this should be carried out during Autumn or after flowering.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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