Description and General Information:
This species of Epimedium is native to the deciduous forests of Japan, Korea and Manchuria. It is a deciduous, clumping species that reaches 25-35 cm tall with a spread of 60 cm or more. The compound leaves are bi-ternate to tri-ternate with ovate leaflets. They emerge bronzy coloured but mature to medium green. The spider-shaped flowers are 2-5 cm across and produced in loose clusters. The wild colour form is rose to violet but white forms are available as well. There are many named cultivars. Some of the more popular are 'Saxton's Purple', 'Rose Queen', 'Lilafee', 'Red Beauty', 'Orion', 'Pretty in Pink' and 'Silver Queen'.
This species of Epimedium is best grown in part shade with acidic, well-drained, organic-rich, evenly moist soil. However, it is tolerant to heavy shade, shallow rocky soil and dry conditions. Rabbits and deer generally ignore them. It is among the smaller-sized Epimedium so suitable for shady rockeries but also for classic woodland gardens. Hardy to zone 5.
April in the south to June in the north.
The only way to propagate named cultivars is by division, which is easily done after flowering. The species may be propagated by seed, which should be fresh. Fresh seed will germinate without a stratification period but somewhat older seed may be coaxed into germination if exposed to fluctuating winter temperatures.