“Epemedium grandiflorum” is also called “bishop’s hat” is one of favorite ground covers. It is one of those plants which look like maidenhair fern, that looks dainty and delicate but is really as tough as they come adaptable, easy to grow, and hardy to zone 3. The small spurred flowers are supposed to resemble a bishop’s miter, but they look to me like miniature columbines.
They come in various colors depending on the variety white, pink, red, lavender and yellow, appear in late spring. Rose Queen is a good red and Nivum has large, showy white flowers. The heart-shaped leaves are pinkish when they first emerge in spring. They overlap in beautiful soft looking mounds and last even into early winter, after turning a reddish bronze color.
Moreover, Epimedium grows slowly when first planted. But it looks like the tortoise that beat the hare it slowly and steadily established large, vigorous clumps. It will grow well even around the bases of trees, where it is graceful addition. Epimedium prefers part shade but will grow in sun if you give it the moist, humusy soil in which it does best. Soil should be well-drained and slightly acid. Since it is shallow rooted, try not to cultivate around it, but instead apply a light mulch to control weeds. Divide in spring, preferably while plants are dormant cutting the tough roots with a knife.