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Common Name: Korean Epimedium
Epimedium koreanum is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
E. Asia - China, Japan, N. Korea.
Wet areas in forests and mountain valleys[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. However, judging by its native range, it is likely to succeed outdoors in most areas of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Succeeds in any fertile humus-rich soil[
], preferring a moist but well-drained peaty loam[
]. Grows best in the light dappled shade of a woodland[
]. Plants can succeed in the dry shade of trees[
]. A shallow-rooting plant, the rhizomes creeping just below the soil and the finer roots occupying the top 30cm of the soil[
Plants are self-sterile and so more than one clone is required for cross-fertilization in order for seed to be produced. Plants will often hybridise with other species growing nearby[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[
The aerial parts of the plant contain several medicaly active constituents including flavonoids and phytosteroids[
]. They are used in Korea in the treatment of spermatrrhoea, impotence and forgetfulness[
This plant is related to Epimedium grandiflorum, and contains a similar range of bioactive constituents. The uses of that plant are as follows:-
The aerial parts of the plant are antiasthmatic, antibacterial, antirheumatic, antitussive, aphrodisiac, hypoglycaemic, tonic and vasodilator. Its use lowers blood sugar levels[
]. It is used in the treatment of impotence, seminal emissions, lumbago, arthritis, numbness and weakness of the limbs, hypertension and chronic bronchitis[
]. It has an action on the genitals similar to the male sex hormone and can increase the weight of the prostate gland and seminal vesicle, it has increased copulation in animals and increases the secretion of semens[
The leaves are used as an aphrodisiac[
]. Administered orally, the leaf extract increases the frequency of copulation in animals[
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in late summer[
]. Sow stored seed as early as possible in the year in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter[
]. Plant them out in mid to late summer[
Division in mid summer according to one report, in late spring according to another[
]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Cuttings in late summer[