Gardening Magazine

Pllant of the Week: Epimedium Pubigerum

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

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

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

Position: Partial shade to shade

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 50cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 5a – 9b

Family: Berberidaceae

Epimedium pubigerum is a low growing, spreading, semi-evergreen herbaceous perennial. Its glossy dark green leaves are compound with heart shaped leaflets with entire margins and are leathery in texture. Its foliage emerges tinged with purple and turns bronze in autumn. Its white flowers are tinged with pink and have yellow stamen, are cup shaped and appear on erect wiry stems above the foliage. Its roots are rhizomes which aids its spread.

Epimedium pubigerum, commonly known as Barrenwort, Fairy Wings or Bishop’s Hat, is native to southeastern Europe and Turkey.

The etymological root of the binomial name Epimedium is derived from the Greek name for this plant, used by Dioscorides and Pliny. Pubigerum is derived from the Latin pubis meaning ‘hairy’, in reference to its mildly hairy flower stalks.

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

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

The landscape architect may find Epimedium pubigerum useful as an effective ground cover plant, particularly in shady areas, including woodlands. Once established this plant is drought tolerant. It is rabbit resistant.

Ecologically, E. pubigerum is attractive to pollinating insects.

E. pubigerum prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It prefers an acid to neural pH of soil, although it will tolerate most soils.

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

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