These are shrubs, semi-shrubs or herbaceous plants. The leaves are arranged alternately or in a base rosette,they aresimple or complex undivided often sharply cut in thorns.The flowers are bisexual, regular, single or gathered in racemes.The leaves surrounding the flower are6-12, usually arranged in 4 circles, free falling, and overlapping each other in the buds in a overlapping tile-like manner.Between the leaves that surround the flowers and stamens there develop 1-2 rows of nectar containers. The stamens are 4-18, free, often arranged in two opposing one another circles. There is superior ovary. The stigma is in the form of a disc. The fruit most often is berry-like, more rarely a capsule. The seeds are single ones or more in number.
In Bulgaria are naturally dispersed 3 species belonging to 3 genera. Of these, one species - Epimedium pubigerum C.Morren & Decne is protected under the Law on Biological Diversity.As ornamental plants there are also grown plants imported from other continents and countries (for example - Mahonia aquifolium Nutt.from North America).