Common Name: leopard plant
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Yellow-orange
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Wet Soil
Best grown in rich, humusy, medium to wet soils in part shade to full shade. Must have moist soils that never dry out. Benefits from a regular, deep watering in hot summers. Needs a shaded location in the St. Louis area.
This leopard plant cultivar is an imposing, clump-forming perennial with a mounded habit that is grown as much for its dark colored foliage as for its flowers. Features huge, leathery, toothed, long-petioled, heart-shaped basal leaves (up to 1' wide). New leaves emerge purplish-red, but mature to brownish-green on top and purplish beneath. Yellow-orange, daisy-like flowers (2-4" across) appear in summer in loose-branched corymbs atop thick, mostly leafless stems rising above the foliage typically to 2-3' tall. Petioles, veins, flower stalks and lower leaf surfaces of this cultivar are distinctively reddish-purple. This cultivar is very similar to and somewhat difficult to distinguish from Ligularia dentata 'Desdemona', except it is perhaps slightly smaller and produces slightly smaller flowers. Closely related to and formerly included in the genus Senecio.
No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs and snails are often attracted to the foliage. Even with adequate moisture, leaf wilting may occur in hot summer climates (foliage droops in afternoons with recovery at night), particularly when the plant is exposed to too much sun.
Group or mass in moist or wet areas of shade or woodland gardens, or along streams, ponds, pools or bog gardens. Good plant for a shady area on the north side of a house. Can be grown in a shaded area of the border if the soil moisture requirements can be met. Grow with interrupted fern (Osmunda claytonia) or Japanese sedge (Carex morrowii) which share the same general cultural requirements.