Monday, May 14, 2012

Epimedium grandiflorum

Epimedium grandiflorum

Zone 4
Grow in full shade to full sun.
Grows 10 to 12 inches tall.

Deer resistant and very drought tolerant, this woodland ground cover is delicate and delightful spring bloomer. But don't let the little fairy flower fool you, this perennial is tough and long-lived. It will naturalize, even in dry shade, like under a Maple tree. Even after the flower fades, the heart shaped foliage stays attractive the rest of the season.

Epimedium grandiflorum also has medicinal properties and has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Epimedium is used in herbal medicine to treat kidney dysfunction and to increase sexual libido. Some of it's common names are: Horny Goat Weed, Rowdy Lamb Herb, Ying Yang Huo (no, I am not making this up) Bishop's Hat, Fairy Wings, and Barrenwort.

However: "According to the Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, little is known about the safety or side effects of epimedium. However, use of the remedy for long periods of time or in high doses might be unsafe. Other possible side effects include vomiting, thirst, nosebleed, dizziness and a dry mouth. Additionally, consuming large quantities of these herbs could result in serious breathing problems. You should not consume epemedium during pregnancy, and it is unknown if it is safe to take when breast-feeding."

So we don't recommend adding it to your salad greens!

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