Farfugium japonicum var. giganteum
Common Name: farfugium
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Japan
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: September to October
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-10. In the St. Louis area, plants should be grown in containers. Containers should be placed in part shade to almost full shade locations with protection from strong winds. Foliage will wilt in too much sun. When grown for foliage effect, some gardeners will remove the flowering stalks as they appear before bloom in order to emphasize the foliage quality. In areas where plants are winter hardy, they are best grown in humusy, organically rich, medium moisture soils in part shade to full shade. They prefer moist soils that never dry out, but tolerate less moisture than many of the related ligularias. Plants generally benefit from regular, deep watering in hot summers.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Farfugium japonicum, synonymous with and formerly known as Ligularia tussilaginea and Ligularia kaempferi, is a clump-forming perennial that is grown in gardens as much for its attractive foliage as for its autumn flowers. It is native to moist meadows and stream banks in Japan and eastern Asia. Its best ornamental feature may be the foliage which consists of huge, long-stalked, glossy, leathery, kidney-shaped, dark green leaves (12” or more across) that form a basal clump to 2’ tall. Leaves are evergreen in warm winter climates, but will die to the ground when temperatures fall to 20 degrees F. Daisy-like, yellow flowers (1-2” across) bloom in loose corymbs atop thick, mostly leafless stalks that rise above the foliage to 30” in late summer to fall.

Var. giganteum is very similar to the species except its leaves are larger (to 18” across).

Specific epithet means of Japan.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs and snails can significantly damage the foliage. Even with adequate moisture, leaf wilting may occur in hot summer climates, particularly when the plant is exposed to too much sun.

Garden Uses

Grow in containers in the St. Louis area. Where winter hardy, group or mass in moist areas of shade or woodland gardens, borders, or along streams, ponds, pools or bog gardens.