Endoplectris tricolor Raf.
Epimedium macranthum C.Morren & Decne.
Common Name: Barrenwort
Epimedium grandiflorum is a perennial plant growing from a slowly spreading rhizomatous rootstock and forming a close cluster of stems up to 35cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is often grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a ground cover.
E. Asia - Japan
Moist deciduous woodlands in the hills[
]. Calcareous rocks in moist woodland[
]. (This entry refers to sub-species E. grandiflorum higoense. Shimau.)
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Epimedium grandiflorum is a moderately cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -32°c when fully dormant[
], though the flowers in spring can be damaged by late frosts[
Species in this genus are generally easy to grow, succeeding in most fertile, humus-rich soils, but preferring a moist, well-drained peaty loam[
]. Requires a lime-free soil[
]. Plants generally grow 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[
]. A clump-forming species, the woody rhizomes making only short new growth each year. It needs to be divided every 3 - 4 years in order to maintain vigour[
A very ornamental plant[
], there are several named varieties[
]. It grows well in the rock garden or wild garden[
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[
Young plant and young leaves - cooked[
]. Soaked and then boiled[
]. The leaves are highly valued in China for their medicinal actions and so are added to foods such as soups in order to add their positive properties to the food[
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 semen[
The leaves are used as an aphrodisiac[
]. Administered orally, the leaf extract increases the frequency of copulation in animals[
A good ground cover plant[
An extract of the flowers, stems and leaves is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as a skin conditioner[
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 is best carried out in late 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[