Friday, March 4, 2011

Ligularia - Stenocephala 'The Rocket'

Ligularia - Stenocephala 'The Rocket'
Photo by: Kimberley Pacholko
If you are looking for a watering loving, shade tolerant perennial with real presence in the garden then Ligularia- Stenocephala may be just the plant for you. Ligularia Stenocephala is an attractive, clump forming plant, with triangular almost heart-shaped, heavily toothed leaves measuring approx. 12cm. The plant blooms in early to mid-summer sending forth 18"-24" yellow bottlebrush spikes carried on dark-purple, almost black, stems. The flower spikes begin blooming at the bottom of the spike and gradually work their way upward.


Ligularia - Stenocephala 'The Rocket'
Photo by: Kimberley Pacholko
Ligularia Stenocephala, also called Leopard plant enjoys wet feet and will do well in a bog garden. The plant is said to do well in sun or shade but I find that the plant droops a great deal in the heat. I grow mine in an east facing bed where it only receives the morning sun. Even so the leaves often droop during the heat of the day and then perk up again in the evening when the temperatures begin to drop.

Ligularia - Stenocephala 'The Rocket'
Photo by: Kimberley Pacholko
Ligularia Stenocephala is Hardy in zones 4 to 8 and performs best in a deep fertile soil with a pH between 6.5 -7. It combines well with astibe, spiderwort, hostas, ferns and bee balm.

Red Admiral butterfly on Ligularia
Photo by: Kimberley Pacholko
Ligularia is not known as a butterfly attracting plant but I have not found that to be so in my garden. This Red Admiral pictured above seemed perfectly content sipping the nectar of my Ligularia last summer.

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