Epimedium perralderianum

3 Jul

Epimedium perralderianum Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Epimedium perralderianum Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Dappled shade to shade

Flowering period: Mid to late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 30cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Berberidaceae

Epimedium perralderianum is an evergreen low growing, ground covering, herbaceous perennial. Its shiny mid green leaves are divided int three heart shaped leaflets with spiny margins, each up to 10cm long. Its leaves turn bronze in late summer. Its bright yellow flowers are composed of four petals,  up to 25mm across, appear on stems which are up to 30cm long above the foliage, each stem containing up to 25 flowers. Its roots are rhizomes which aids its spread.

Epimedium perralderianum, commonly known as Barrenwort or Bishop’s Mitre, is native to north east Algeria.  In its natural habitat it grows in Oak or Atlas Cedar forests. It was introduced into the UK in 1862.

The etymological root of the binomial name Epimedium is derived from the Greek name for this plant, used by Dioscorides and Pliny. Perralderianum is named after a French naturalist Henri Rene le Tourneaux de la Perraudiere.

Epimedium perralderianum (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Epimedium perralderianum (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find  Epimedium perralderianum useful as an evergreen, low growing,  ground cover in shady locations. This plant is rabbit resistant.

Ecologically, Epimedium perralderianum is attractive to pollinating insects.

Epimedium perralderianum prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It prefers an acid to neutral pH of soil, although it will tolerate most soils.

Epimedium perralderianum requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in autumn.

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