Top tips for keeping that much loved Christmas plant alive. We've tested a plant sensor and mixed it up with some good old gardening knowledge...
“Horny goat weed” is an ideal plant everyone, regardless of whether you have problems in the bedroom.
I spend my life hoping that people in respectable jobs are secretly making jokes and puns to entertain themselves. So when I came across the RHS’s description of Epimedium, I was delighted.
“Epimedium are rhizomatous perennials with evergreen or deciduous, ternately or pinnately divided leaves, and open sprays of small, bowl-shaped flowers, often with prominent spurs, in mid to late spring”
Why does this seemingly sensible description delight me so? Because I very much hope that whoever wrote this description, with its references to ‘open sprays’ and ‘prominent spurs’ had in mind the fact that epimedium contains icariin, which has properties similar to the active ingredient in Viagra and is therefore an aphrodisiac and treatment for erectile dysfunction.
These properties have led to it having some of the most brilliant names in the plant kingdom, including “horny goat weed”, “randy beef grass” and “rowdy lamb herb” as well as the inexplicable “bishop’s hat”.
But even if you don’t have problems in the bedroom, there are many other reasons to plant Epimedium in your garden. Its attractive sprays of primrose yellow flowers form a lovely contrast with its red-tinted leaves.
Epimedium starts blooming in late April; look out for it in flower borders, underplanting and in rock gardens.