Ligularia

Ligularia flowers

Shade tolerant hardy herbaceous perennials with yellow flowers and attractive leaves. Ideal ground cover for damp shady borders or bog gardens.

Family: Asteraceae
Botanical Name: Ligularia (lig-ew-lah-ree-a)
Common Names: Leopard plant, summer ragwort, goldenray, golden groundsel.

Foliage: Deciduous, attractive bold, lobed or toothed leaves.

Flowers: Spikes of daisy-like, yellow or orange flowers.

Flowering Period: Summer to early autumn.

Soil: Moist or poorly drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.

Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Plant in a north, east, west or south facing aspect, in a sheltered position.

Habit: Clump forming.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Origin: China, Japan.

Hardiness: Hardy in the UK.

Planting and Growing Ligularia

Plant at any time during the dormant season, in a moist, heavy loam. Full sun or partial shade. Shelter from strong winds. Most species thrive in boggy conditions. Suitable for waterside planting, bog garden or a shaded woodland garden.

Taking Care of Ligularia

Water well in dry weather. Lift and divide every three years.

Pruning Ligularia

Deadhead once flowers fade and cut back old foliage in autumn.

Pests and Diseases

Slugs can be a problem with young growth.

Propagating Ligularia

Divide established clumps when dormant. Sow seed in autumn or spring.

Popular Varieties of Ligularia

Ligularia dentata is a large perennial with kidney-shaped leaves, dark olive-green suffused with purple. Bears small, golden-yellow, daisy-like flowers in July-September. Height 3-4ft (90-120cm), spread 3ft (90cm). Varieties include:


  • 'Desdemona' with orange flowers and brownish-green leaves. Available from Gardenia.
  • 'Golden Queen' with golden yellow flowers.
  • 'Orange Princess' with bright orange flowers.

Ligularia 'The Rocket' has erect, black-stalked spikes of small yellow flowers. Height to 5ft (1.5m). For sale at Crocus.

Ligularia stenocephala is a clump forming perennial with large coarse-toothed leaves and dark purple stems. Spikes of yellow flowers in July-August. Height 5-6ft (1.5-2m), spread to 2ft (60cm).

Ligularia veitchiana is a perennial with coarse, green, almost triangular leaves. Tall spires of golden-yellow flowers appear in July-September. Height 3-6ft (1-2m), spread 2ft (60cm).