Rodgersia 'Big Mama'
Common Name: rodgersia 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Saxifragaceae
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: Shell pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant


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

Noteworthy Characteristics

Rodgersia is a genus of about 6 species of clump-forming herbaceous perennials from Myanmar, China, Korea and Japan. They make good plants for moist locaions such as bogs and woodland gardens.

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.

'Big Mama' is a hybrid cultivar of Rodgersia that typically produces a foliage clump to 3' tall. Each palmate-compound leaf usually has seven leaflets. Apetalous, shell pink flowers bloom from June to August in large, upright, astilbe-like, terminal panicles which rise 18-24” above the foliage mound. Flowers are fragrant. Distinctive brown hairs cover the flower stalks, stems and leaf margins of this plant.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Excellent as a specimen/accent or in small groups. May be 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.

This large perennial needs a large space.