Epimedium diphyllum

Common Name: bishop's hat 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Berberidaceae
Native Range: Japan
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Heavy Shade, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers rich, organic soils with even moisture in part shade. Tolerates drought once established. Clumps slowly spread by rhizomes. Evergreen in warm winter climates. In cold winter climates such as St. Louis, cut back what is left of the foliage in late winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Epimedium diphyllum is a low-growing, clump-forming perennial which typically grows 8-10" tall and is primarily used as a ground cover in shady or woodland areas. Small, drooping, bell-shaped, spurless white flowers appear in spring above the foliage. Bifoliate (2 leaflets), medium green leaves with triangular to heart-shaped leaflets (to 2" long) on wiry stems form dense, compact, spreading mounds. Foliage is evergreen in warm winter climates, but typically turns bronzish in fall and depreciates throughout the winter in cold winter climates.

Genus name is of unclear origin and meaning but the Greeks used epimedion for a very different plant.

Specific epithet means having two leaves or leaflets.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Ground cover for shady areas. Woodland gardens, wild gardens or naturalized areas. Grows well under trees. Also may be used in shady areas of rock gardens and border fronts.