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Ligularia

Sometimes there are wet spots in a garden that need permanent plantings to convert a liability into an asset.

yellow desdemona in shade

Photo: Kingsbrea Garden

I have "Desdemona" in my garden and often use her shiny long stemmed maroon leaves in tall flower arrangements where they provide long lasting indoor impact.

Sometimes there are wet spots in a garden that need permanent plantings to convert a liability into an asset.

Ligularias are perennials that can be left undisturbed for years without needing to be divided.  They love soil that is constantly moist, but will also grow in other locations if they receive some shade.

They have bold foliage and grow into 3 foot mounds of large rounded or kidney shaped leaves.  In mid-summer they throw up dramatic spikes of yellow or orange spikes of daisy like flowers.

Ligularia dentate produces dramatic clumps of large dark leaves and provides a useful contrast in the company of hostas.

Shakespearean Garden

Ligularia dentate “Desdemona” would make a perfect gift for a gardener who likes Shakespeare.  I have “Desdemona” in my garden and often use her shiny long stemmed maroon leaves in tall flower arrangements where they provide long lasting indoor impact.

Believe it or not, you can also buy a variety named “Othello” with purplish red on the underside of the leaves.

However if you prefer descriptive rather than literary names for plants, you can buy “The Rocket” which shoots up to 6 feet and has 5 foot racemes of lemon yellow flowers.  It is hardy in zones 4 through 8.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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