Doronicum orientale 'Leonardo Compact'

Common Name: leopard's bane 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Wet Soil


Easily grown in consistently moist, fertile soil. Does well in heavy, clay soils, but soils with a lighter texture will produce a larger, faster growing clump. Requires full sun to part shade. Hardy from Zones 4-8. Plantings may fade in hot, humid summers. Unsightly foliage can be cut back, and will reemerge next spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Doronicum orientale, commonly called leopard's bane, is a herbaceous perennial native to moist, rocky outcrops and woodland areas of southeastern Europe into Turkey and the Caucasus region. Individual plants grow to 1-2' tall and will spread slowly via underground rhizomes to fill a 2' area. The basal foliage is made up of bright green, cordate leaves (up to 8" long by 3" wide) with sparsely scalloped margins. Emerging from the center of the clumps in early to mid-spring are singular flowering stalks bearing one terminal, daisy-like inflorescence. The flowering stalks usually have 1-2 pairs of clasping leaves. The blooms (1-3" in diameter) have a single row of bright, lemon yellow ray flowers and a head of orangish-yellow disk flowers.

Genus name Doronicum comes from the Arabic "doronigi", the Arabic name for plants of this genus.

The specific epithet orientale means of or from the east, in reference to this species' native range of eastern Europe.

'Leonardo Compact' has a smaller stature and denser habit than the species. It only reaches 8-10" tall when in flower. Will spread slowly to fill a 10-12" area.


No major pest or disease problems. Powdery mildew may appear on the leaves later in the growing season.


Mixed borders, cottage gardens, rain gardens, moist woodland edges. One of the earliest flowering perennials in the aster family. Makes a wonderful companion with tulips, forget-me-nots, and other spring bloomers.