Porfessor William Stearn grew and studied many taxa of Epimedium in the garden of St John’s College, Cambridge, as the Garden at that time lacked the space he required for his extensive field trials. In 1950, he discovered a distinct clump identified as a hybrid between E. alpinum and E. pubigerum, which was named Epimedium x cantabrigiense. This is a low-growing woodland plant has mitre-shaped evergreen leaves, typical of the genus, and which give rise to the common name of Bishop’s Hat. In late spring small yellow-centred, coppery pink flowers emerge through the mat of leaves to great effect.
This widely cultivated plant was named by the botanist Professor William Stearn, in honour of his city of birth.