Syneilesis aconitifolia
Common Name: shredded umbrella plant
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Central and eastern temperate Asia
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Pinkish-white
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Easily grown in rich, moist but well-drained soils in part shade. Tolerates full shade. Also tolerates full sun in cool summer areas. Best in sun-dappled woodland conditions with consistent moisture. Some drought tolerance once established. Will naturalize by creeping rhizomes to form colonies over time.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Syneilesis aconitifolia, commonly called shredded umbrella plant, is an herbaceous perennial of the aster family that is native to hillside forest margins and slopes in China, Korea, Japan and eastern Russia. This is a unique and beautiful plant that is primarily grown in shaded areas for its attractive foliage. Peltate leaves on stiff stems pop out of the ground in spring in a manner reminiscent of mayapples (Podophyllum). Each young leaf resembles a small, upright, unopened umbrella covered with attractive, silvery-white, woolly hairs. As the young leaves grow larger, the silvery-white hairs disappear as each leaf slowly opens like an umbrella into 7-9 palmately-parted deeply-dissected segments (forked divisions with serrated edges). Dinner plate-sized mature leaves (each to 10” across) purportedly resemble shredded umbrellas, hence the common name. Leaves form a medium to dark green canopy to 18-24” tall. Pinkish-white florets (each to ¼” across) bloom in June-July in corymbs atop striated purple stems that rise well above the foliage to 3’ tall. Individual flowers are very small, very un-aster like and not particularly showy from a distance, but are interesting up close.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin folia meaning leaves resembling Aconitum (monkshood/wolfsbane).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Specimen or mass for shady areas of the landscape. Good spreading perennial with attractive foliage for woodland gardens. May be difficult to locate in commerce.