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Botanical Name : Epimedium grandiflorum
Habitat: Epimedium grandiflorum is native to China, Japan and Korea. It grows in the moist deciduous woodlands in the hills. Calcareous rocks in moist woodland. (This entry refers to sub-species E. grandiflorum higoense. Shimau.)
Epimedium grandiflorum is a deciduous perennial plant, growing to 30 cm (12 in), with bright red stems with green heart-shaped leaves (copper-tinged when young) which are slightly hairy on the bottom. In spring it produces pink, white, yellow or purple long-spurred flowers.
Main Bloom Time: Early spring. Form: Spreading or horizontal. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.
Succeeds in any fertile humus-rich soil, preferring a moist but well-drained peaty loam. Requires a lime-free soil. 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. A clump-forming species, the rhizomes making only short new growth each year, it needs to be divided every 3 – 4 years in order to maintain vigour. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, though the flowers in spring can be damaged by late frosts. 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. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Naturalizing.
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, best carried out in August to September 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
Edible Uses: Young plant and young leaves – cooked & eaten. Soaked and then boiled. (This suggests that the leaves are bitter and need to be soaked in order to remove the bitterness.)
Antiasthmatic; Antibacterial; Antirheumatic; Antitussive; Aphrodisiac; Hypoglycaemic; Tonic; Vasodilator.
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.
Traditional Chinese medicine:
E. grandiflorum may have anti-impotence properties due to the presence of icariin, a relatively weak inhibitor of PDE5 in comparison to substances like sildenafil (viagra). Western peer-reviewed research into the efficacy of E. grandiflorum as an aphrodisiac is lacking; however, the herb has been used for this purpose in traditional Chinese medicine and is a common ingredient of herbal remedies for impotence. It is commonly packed in a capsule with other ingredients or sold as herbal flakes or powder with the name “horny goat weed”
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden, Woodland garden.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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