Farfugium japonicum
Common Name: leopard plant 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Japan
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: September to October
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-10. Best grown in humusy, organically rich, medium moisture soils in part shade to full shade. They prefer moist soils that never dry out, but tolerate less moisture than many of the related ligularias. Plants generally benefit from regular, deep watering in hot summers. Foliage will wilt in too much sun. When grown for foliage effect, some gardeners will remove the flowering stalks as they appear before bloom in order to emphasize the foliage quality.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Farfugium japonicum, commonly called leopard plant, is a clump-forming perennial that is grown in gardens as much for its attractive foliage as for its autumn flowers. It is native to moist meadows and stream banks in Japan and eastern Asia. Its best ornamental feature may be the foliage which consists of huge, long-stalked, glossy, leathery, kidney-shaped, dark green leaves (12” or more across) that form a basal clump to 2’ tall. Leaves are evergreen in warm winter climates, but will die to the ground when temperatures fall to 20°F. Daisy-like, yellow flowers (1-2” across) bloom in loose corymbs atop thick, mostly leafless stalks that rise above the foliage to 30” in late summer to fall. Synonymous with and formerly known as Ligularia tussilaginea and Ligularia kaempferi.

The specific epithet japonicum means "of Japan" in reference to part of the native range of this species.


Slugs and snails can significantly damage the foliage. Even with adequate moisture, leaf wilting may occur in hot summer climates, particularly when the plant is exposed to too much sun.


Group or mass in moist areas of shade or woodland gardens, borders, or along streams, ponds, pools or bog gardens.