Rodgersia aesculifolia

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 2 Professionals
Common Name: rodgersia
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Saxifragaceae
Native Range: Northern China
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Creamy white (sometimes pink)
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant

Culture

Best grown in rich, humusy, consistently moist soils in part shade. Leaf margins may brown if soils are allowed to dry out. Deadhead spent flower stalks after bloom. Propagate by division or seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Rodgersia aesculifolia, sometimes commonly called fingerleaf rodgersia, is a bold, clump-forming, rhizomatous perennial that grows to 3-5’ tall and as wide. It is a substantial plant that will naturalize by thick black rhizomes. It is native to moist woods and stream banks in China. Although the flowers are attractive, the large, crinkled, coarsely-toothed, palmate, dark green, basal leaves (to 12” across) with bronze tinting are often the main reason gardeners grow this plant. Leaves resemble the leaves of the horsechestnut (Aesculus), hence the species name. Each leaf usually has seven leaflets. From June to August, creamy white (sometimes light pink) apetalous flowers bloom in large, astilbe-like, terminal panicles (to 18-24” long) atop stems rising well above the foliage. Flowers are fragrant. Distinctive brown hairs cover the flower stalks, stems and leaf margins of this plant.

Genus name honors Rear-Admiral John Rodgers (1812-1882), distinguished American naval officer who commanded in 1852-1856 a Pacific expedition during which the first species of this genus was discovered.

Specific epithet means having foliage like the genus Aesculus.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Best naturalized in part shade areas with consistent soil moisture. Grows well in moist woodland gardens, bog gardens, water garden peripheries or along stream banks. Can be effectively grown in the back of the border as long as soil moisture requirements can be met.