Kirengeshoma koreana
Common Name: kirengeshoma 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Native Range: Korea
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Soft yellow
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy


Easily grown in cool, moist, acidic, humusy, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Best in open part shade (sun-dappled or morning sun/afternoon shade). Needs consistent moisture (avoid both wet and dry soils). Propagate by division or seeds. Plants grow poorly in the hot and humid summers of the deep South.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Kirengeshoma koreana, commonly called yellow waxbells or Korean waxbells, is a shrub-like, late-flowering, herbaceous perennial with purplish stems that typically grows to 3-4' tall. It is native to woodland areas of Korea. It is often grown primarily as a foliage plant for enjoyment of its ornamentally attractive spreading mound of maple-like leaves. Waxy, bell-shaped, soft yellow flowers (1-2" long) with overlapping petals bloom late summer to early fall in pendulous clusters atop upright stems rising from a clump of palmate, sharply-lobed, dull green leaves (to 5" long) with toothed margins. Flowers never fully open. Very similar to the more commonly planted Kirengeshoma palmata, except it is distinguished by slightly taller growth, slightly better winter hardiness, flowers droop less, petal tips curve more and bloom occurs about one week earlier.

Genus name comes from the Japanese name for a yellow-flowered perennial, from ki meaning yellow, renge meaning lotus blossom and shoma meaning hat.

Specific epithet means of Korea.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for slugs and snails.


Best when allowed to spread. Naturalize in woodland gardens or shade gardens. Part-shade border areas. Pond/stream peripheries. Shady areas of the landscape.