Rehmannia elata
Common Name: rehmannia 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Orobanchaceae
Native Range: China
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Rose-pink with yellow spotted throats
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-10 where it is best grown in loose, moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Grows well in sandy, chalky or loamy soils. Appreciates morning sun and afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Tolerates close to full shade. Plants grown in full sun need consistent moisture during the early years, but once established will tolerate periods of drought. Plants need a sheltered site with a good winter mulch in Zone 7. North of Zone 7, Chinese foxglove should be grown as an annual, although it may survive some Zone 6 winters if sited in a well-protected growing site. Flowers will bloom from seed in the first year. Plants spread by rhizomes to form large clumps.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Rehmannia elata, commonly known as Chinese foxglove, is an herbaceous perennial that typically grows to 2-4’ (infrequently to 5’) tall. It is native to China. Large-veined, ovate-oblong to elliptic, medium green leaves (to 10” long) with irregularly scalloped margins grow in a basal rosette. Tall flowering stalks with smaller alternate leaves rise up from the basal rosette in spring bearing dangling, two-lipped, trumpet-shaped, rose-pink, penstemon-like flowers (to 2” across and 3” long) with yellow spotted throats. Heaviest bloom typically occurs in June-July. Bloom lasts longer in mild winter climates where foliage remains evergreen. Flowers are arranged on each stalk in a manner similar to common foxglove (Digitalis), but are botanically unrelated to common foxglove.

Genus name honors Joseph Rehmann (1753-1831) German physician and botanist who settled in St. Petersburg.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin elatus meaning tall in reference to potential plant height.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs and snails may feed on the leaves.

Garden Uses

Borders in dappled shade.