Epimedium rhizomatosum

19 Sep

Epimedium rhizomatosum (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Epimedium rhizomatosum (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Dappled shade to shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 40cm

Eventual Spread: 40cm

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

Family: Berberidaceae

Epimedium rhizomatosum is an evergreen herbaceous perennial with a low growing, ground covering habit. Its shiny dark green leathery leaves are divided into three heart shaped leaflets with spiny margins, each up to 6cm long and 3cm broad. Its leaves emerge bronze/ red in spring. Its yellow flowers are composed of four petals,  up to 25mm across, appear on stems above the foliage as a panicle of up to 30 flowers. Its roots are long rhizomes which aids its spread.

Epimedium rhizomatosum Flower (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Epimedium rhizomatosum Flower (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Epimedium rhizomatosum, commonly known as Barrenwort or Bishop’s Mitre, is native to central south China. In its natural habitat it grows in wooded environments.

The etymological root of the binomial name Epimedium is derived from the Greek name for this plant, used by Dioscorides and Pliny. Rhizomatosum is derived from the Greek meaning ‘having rhizomes’.

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

Ecologically, Epimedium rhizomatosum is attractive to pollinating insects.

Epimedium rhizomatosum Leaf (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Epimedium rhizomatosum Leaf (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

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

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

Davis Landscape Architecture

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