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Regional Picks: Bold Plants for Shade – Southern Plains

Fine Gardening - Issue 168

1. Giant Leopard Plant

Name: Farfugium japonicum ‘Giganteum’ (syn. Ligularia tussilaginea ‘Giganteum’)

USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10

Size: 20 inches tall and 3 feet wide

Conditions: Partial to full shade; moist, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil

This species is native to Asia, growing along stream beds and moist areas. The common name, leopard plant, comes from the fact that some cultivars have yellow spots of variegation on the leaves. The variegated cultivars are used to brighten deep shade areas. What makes ‘Giganteum’ so appealing is the huge, glossy green leaves, up to 15 inches across. This plant can grow in shade, giving the appearance of coolness on the hottest days of our Southern Plains summers. In fall, it will produce large spikes of bright yellow flowers. Give it a try—it always catches the eye of visitors.


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