Epimediums:- In this syrupy period pre-Valentine’s Day, I wanted to join the wave of romanticism by writing an article on the epimedium or “flower elves”. With such a name, I was hoping to find some stories of innocent love in a sunny undergrowth …
Do you think!
But before exploring its dark side, I give you the essentials on this plant beautiful and … very practical.
It grows where nothing grows
As often, I started with a very small plant, rather ugly, planted without conviction near the kitchen door. Often trampled, always in the shade: we would not have bet a kopeck on his survival. But now he began to expand and form a nice green carpet, blooming in the spring.
Since then, I have taken the habit of taking small chips and transplanting them where nothing else grows: in the shade or in the shade, in ultra-dry corners in summer or at exhibitions. the coldest. I have the impression that this plant is able to grow everywhere.
A shelter for birds
Feeding the birds is good, offering them places to nest, that’s good too. But they also need to be able to hide to sleep and … eat the seeds they went to the manger. The ivy fulfills this role perfectly but I noticed there is little that many passerines settled under the leaves of epimedium to savor their sunflower seeds.
The plant “trash”
I learned recently that when they were young, my children called the epimedium carpet near the kitchen door the “garbage plant”. Explanation: we can throw everything we want, it does not show! The leaves close immediately on the object of the crime and hide it from the eyes of the most suspicious mother: I think that a good part of the healthy food that I prepared them with love ended up as fertilizer for epimediums.
An extremely simple interview
I only take care of the epimedium once a year: I cut the leaves around March before the flowers start to grow. At this time, the foliage became very dry and ugly but it quickly reborn to accompany the first flowers. Note that there are now new varieties that flower above the foliage for which this operation is no longer necessary.
Many varieties and species
I did not know it completely: in my garden, I have yellow and roses. Last fall, I added a pale pink species ( Epimedium pauciflorum ). And that’s all ! But lately, when I asked a question on my favorite forum ( Gardens of the North ), I discovered that there were a multitude of varieties … and different species. I would like to share with you the link that Epimedium sent me (it’s his nickname, which says a lot about it). You will see, there are things that make you dream.
A natural “weed killer”
The yellow-flowered epimedium that grows in my garden is the one that was available before the appearance of all the new varieties. It may seem trivial today but it has a good quality: where it grows, weeds disappear! it takes a moment, but you just have to plant some chips about 10 centimeters apart to get a shiny carpet that blooms in the spring. It’s ultra-convenient for hard-to-reach areas.
And to finish the “botanical” part, I propose you to watch this report of Jardins et Loisirs, shot in 2014 at the Delabroye nursery. We learn a lot of things.
Horny goat weed This is the name that the elf flower takes when it is sold in drops, powder or capsules. This false ingenuous indeed has a double life. Everything begins, it seems, by a Chinese legend:
Horny goat weed
You know how shepherds are: isolated in their mountains a good part of the year, they have nothing to do but observe nature and their flock. In this case, the one we are talking about here was dealing with a flock of goats. And he noticed a strange phenomenon: when they had grazed in a field of epimediums, his goats became all romantic and dreamy looking at the goat. Maybe even they were eyeing a specific place … This gallant … goat, answered valiantly their many solicitations … (I even found on a site the frightening number of 100 couplings per goat … and by day). The shepherd quickly made the connection between the consumption of epimedium and the libidinous behavior of his flock. (In English, Horny does not mean that horny). And that is how the Chinese, millennia ago, would have discovered the virtues of the epimedium.