Photo: Kingsbrea Garden
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.
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.