OK, let’s get this bit out of the way first. An alternative name for Epimedium is Horny Goat Weed. 😎 It is used in Chinese medicine to treat sexual disfunction. A third name is Bishop’s Hat. This all brings to mind the old phrase, ‘As the Bishop said to the actress….! It was supposed to have been the Bishop of Worcester talking to the actress Lillie Langtry. So what did they say? You can click on a link at the end of this piece to find out.

Anyway, to make the medicinal tea you have to steep the dried leaves in hot water. If that works you may also like to use it in other dishes. There’s even a recipe book. Best of luck.

I digress; back to the garden. The following photo shows Epimedium growing in shade, surrounded by autumn leaves. It copes perfectly in our upper Blue Mountains climate; heavy frost and snow included. It’s an ideal ground cover as it spreads, but is not invasive. This hardy, woodland plant will do well under trees, always a tricky spot to beautify. It likes a lot of leaf litter, so a spot under trees such as Japanese maples is idea.

Epimedium in shade among autumn leaves.

The spring flowers are a bonus. They are like miniature daffodils.

Epimedium in flower

If you want to spread it around or share it with friends, just dig a clump out with a spade. A hand trowel is definitely not suitable because the plant has tough rhizomes. A bit of Seasol to reduce any transplant shock and into the new spot it goes.

Epimedium ready to transplant.

I also have Epimedium growing in old baby baths. The first photo shows one that has been in shade. The second container was placed in a position receiving morning sun. Note how in sunshine it produces lovely autumn colour. A word of warning, it will burn if the sun is too hot.

Epimedium grows well in tubs

Light rain has intensified the colour in this photo.

Autumn tones on epimedium

I even use the foliage to make an autumn centre-piece for the dining table.

Epimedium as a table decoration

Here are some gorgeous leaves captured with the morning dew still on them.

Epimedium Leaves in a morning mist.
Beautiful autumn colour.

Oh yes, if you are broad minded and really want to know what the Bishop said to the actress, CLICK HERE 😍

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