Jeffersonia diphylla

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 1 Professionals
Common Name: twinleaf
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Berberidaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Heavy Shade

Culture

Best grown in moist, humusy, well-drained, limestone soils in part shade. Tolerates full shade. Plants are best sited under the canopies of large deciduous trees where they will receive part sun in spring before the trees leaf out, but are well-shaded throughout the heat of the summer. Soils must not be allowed to dry out. Appreciates a summer mulch to help keep the roots cool.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Twinleaf is a somewhat uncommon spring woodland wildflower that is native from New York to Wisconsin south to Alabama and Virginia. It is usually found in limestone soils in rich damp woods. It is a clump-forming plant that typically grows to 8” tall when in flower in early spring, but continues to grow thereafter eventually reaching 18” tall by the time its fruit ripens. Features long-stemmed, blue-green basal leaves (to 6” long) which are deeply divided into two lobes that give the appearance of being two separate leaves, hence the common name. In early spring (April), white cup-shaped flowers (1” diameter) bloom singly atop rigid leafless stalks to 8” tall. Each flower has eight petals. Flowers are somewhat reminiscent of bloodroot, but the plants are unrelated and in different families. Fruit is an interesting pear-shaped dehiscent pod with a lid. Genus name honors Thomas Jefferson.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to slugs and snails.

Garden Uses

Woodland gardens, shade gardens, native plant gardens or shaded areas of rock gardens. When massed, foliage forms an effective ground cover for shady areas.