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Plants for a Plant Zoo: Leopard Plant (Farfugium japonicum aka Ligularia tussilaginea)

For a real WOW factor in a shady moist area, the leopard plant, Farfugium japonicum, is sure to please.  There are many plants with the  common name, leopard plant, so be sure that you check the Latin name when you make a purchase so you can enjoy the huge leaves that make this plant so desirable.  The dark green  leaves are round to kidney-shaped and carried on long petioles.  They  may be up to  12″ across, and are evergreen in warm climates. Another common name, trailer seat plant, gives you an idea of what the leaves look like.   From late summer into fall,  loose cluster of yellow, daisy like flowerheads 1-2″ across appear on branched, mostly leafless stems up to 30″ tall.   They add color to a shady spot but are not as showy as the handsome foliage and some gardeners remove them.  Cultivars are available that vary most significantly in leaf coloration, size, and texture. Leopard plants are a good choice for  pond and stream sides, as well as woodland, shade,  bog, and water gardens.  In addition, it does well in containers.

Type: Tender herbaceous perennial

Size: 1-2’H x 1-2′ W

Bloom Color: Yellow

Light: Partial sun to part shade

Soil: Humusy, consistently moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 7-10