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Regional Picks: Large-Leaved Perennials – Midwest

Fine Gardening - Issue 161

1. Shredded Umbrella Plant

Name: Syneilesis aconitifolia

USDA hardiness zones: 3 to 8

Size: 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; fertile, well-drained soil

In the world of big green umbrellas, plants with leaves of the shredded kind carry extra panache. Shredded umbrella plant is a ligularia relative with dissected, fingerling leaves rising from fuzzy silver buds in spring. It is best suited for the edge of a shade garden. Over a few seasons, it colonizes into a stately mass, barely a few feet wide, but the leaves unfurl into a canopy up to 3 feet tall. In flower, it’s not much to look at; the off-white tufts play second fiddle to the leaves.

 

2. Ornamental Rhubarb

Name: Rheum palmatum var. tanguticum

Zones: 5 to 9

Size: 3 to 5 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist soil

What’s not to love about rhubarb, even if it’s not harmonizing…

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