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Plant Profile: Lamb’s Tail (Chiastophyllum oppositifolium)

chiastophyllum-oppositifoliumNative to the Caucasus where it grows on limestone outcroppings in shady mountain areas, this rhizomateous perennial slowly grows to form a low mound of large fleshy ovate leaves with scalloped edges. Upright racemes of dangling pea-like flowers emerge well above the foliage in spring and early summer. The plants are suitable for shade gardens and rock gardens, and are especially attractive when growing in walls or between flagstones. They are also good edgers and mix well with other plants in containers.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Racemes of small yellow dangling pea-like flowers in spring

Size: 6-8” H x 6-12” W

Light: Partial shade (needs afternoon shade in southern part of its range)

Soil: Poor to moderately fertile, moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: Snails and slugs may be a problem

Propagation: Seed but division in spring or fall easier

Companion plants: Purple leave Heuchera, ajuga, primroses, alpine columbine, candytuft