Ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 5 Professionals
Common Name: leopard plant
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Orange-yellow
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Heavy Shade

Culture

Best grown in rich, humusy, medium to wet soils in part shade to full shade in a location sheltered from winds. Must have moist soils that never dry out. Benefits from a regular, deep watering in hot summers. Site selection in hot summer climates can be a bit tricky because leaves tend to show wilt when grown in hot sun and flower spikes tend to grow on a slant toward brighter light when grown in shade. Probably best in partially shaded (afternoon shade) or dappled shade locations in the St. Louis area.

Noteworthy Characteristics

There are about 150 species in the genus, Ligularia. Most are native to Asia, especially Siberia, China and Japan. Ligularias have a basal rosette of large kidney-shaped, heart-shaped or triangular, often toothed leaves and stem leaves that decrease in size and number as they go up the stem. They have daisy-like, yellow to orange flowers held on narrow spikes, on long cone-shaped spikes or in flat-topped clusters. Ligularia fruits are cylindrical, usually hairless achenes. Ligularias can be large plants growing over 6 ft. tall.

Genus name comes from the Latin word ligula meaning strap in reference to the shape of the ray flowers.

'Britt-Marie Crawford' is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial that is grown in gardens not only for its showy rounded clumps of large, glossy, purple-black leaves but also for its summer display of bold daisy-like orange-yellow flowers. Its best ornamental feature is probably the leaves which generally retain good color throughout the growing season. This plant was first discovered by Britt-Marie Crawford growing in a plot of Ligularia dentata 'Othello' in Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom. After her death, her husband, James Crawford, took steps to honor his wife by naming the cultivar after her and introducing it into commerce. Leathery, long-stalked, orbicular-reniform leaves (to 7" long by 9" wide) have wavy, coarsely-dentate margins. Leaf color is a distinctive and showy purple-black. Leaves may acquire some green tones as they age. Leaves typically form a basal foliage mound to 24" tall and as wide. In mid to late summer, daisy-like, bright orange-yellow flowers (2-3" diameter) in loose corymbs rise above the foliage on stems to 36-40" tall. U.S. Plant Patent PP16,113 was issued on November 15, 2005.

Problems

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

Garden Uses

Group or mass in moist or wet areas of shade or woodland gardens. Particularly effective along streams, ponds, pools or bog gardens. Excellent specimen for the shaded border as long as soil moisture requirements can be met.