A small genus of moisture loving marginal plants grown for their attractive foliage and striking flower plumes. Excellent as ground cover, where the large crinkled leaves will cover a wide area. Ideal near water or on the fringes of the bog garden.
Botanical Name: Rodgersia
Common Names: Rodgersia
Foliage: Large, deciduous, deeply veined, divided leaves.
Flowers: Large conical panicles (plume like spikes) of small star-shaped flowers. Usually in shades or white, cream or pink.
Flowering Period: Summer.
Soil: Moist or poorly-drained, fertile soil (clay or loam). Any pH.
Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Plant in a north, east, west or south facing aspect, in a sheltered position.
Habit: Bushy, clump forming.
Type: Rhizomatous herbaceous perennial.
Origin: China and Japan.
Hardiness: Fully hardy in the UK.
Plant at any time when dormant. Choose a sheltered sunny spot, although it will tolerate dappled shade. Plant in an organic rich, moisture retentive loam, adding plenty of compost, leaf mould or well rotted organic matter at planting time.
Water copiously in dry weather and provide shelter from cold drying winds. Do not allow the soil to dry out.
Clear away any old foliage in the autumn and apply a top dressing of leaf-mould.
Susceptible to attack by slugs and snails. Generally disease free.
Sow seed in early spring in a cold frame. Alternatively, divide established clumps when dormant in the autumn.
Various leaf forms and flower colours area available.
Rodgersia aesculifolia is an attractive marginal plant with handsome horse-chestnut-like leaves at the base. Pink flushed conical panicles of tiny flowers (up to 2ft (60cm) long) rise above the leaves on tall stems in summer. Height to 6.6ft (2m), spread to 39in (1m). Available from Thompson & Morgan, Gardening Express.
Rodgersia pinnata (feather leaf rodgersia) has coarse green leaves divided into large, finger-like segments. Branched heads of fluffy pink flowers in July. Variety 'Superba' has attractive purplish bronze foliage. Height 2-4ft (60-120cm), spread 2-3ft (60-90cm).
Rodgersia podophylla has attractive spreading, divided leaves that emerge bronze in spring, maturing to green. Creamy-white frothy flower heads up to 18in (45cm) long in June-July. Height 2-4ft (60-120cm), spread 2-3ft (60-90cm).
Rodgersia tabularis has large circular leaves up to 2ft across and feathery creamy white flower plumes on stout stems in July. Height and spread to 3ft (90cm).