Golden Rockets Narrow-Spiked Ligularia
Beginning in mid spring, Narrow-Spiked Ligularia lends the beauty of its large serated triangular or heart-shaped leaves to any moist shady garden. Then in summer until first frost, it adds tall slender spikes of flowers.
Each flower head is a raceme of many yellow florets showing strikingly strikingly against the purple-black stems. Like many perennials that form such spikes, it begins blooming at the bottom of the spike & works its way upward, lengthing the life of each spike's decorative vitality. Late in autumn it dies to the ground but with no encouragement comes back the following spring.
Also known as Leopard Plant, Ragwort, Rayflower, or Golden Groundsel, the Narrow-Spiked Ligularia is native to Northern China, Japan, & Taiwan. In Japan it is called Metakarakou, "Sweet Smelling Roots."
There are several varieties of Narrow-Leafed Ligularia, but it seems as though 'The Rocket' aka 'Golden Rockets' is the only L. stenocephala often offered. It is more compact than most other forms.
Though it does as well in well-drained soil just so long as it is never entirely dries out, Ligularia is also a true bog plant & can have water up to the head of the root without harm.
The Rocket easily rises to four feet, taller counting the flower spikes, & other varieties are taller still. Just so long as it is kept moist, it is hardy as the devil. I thought I'd dug it up more or less by accident killing it when I planted a big fern in the very spot where it had been. But low & behold, it reappeared behind the big fern happy as ever.
Though surrounded by larger plants this Ligularia has sufficient presence to hold its own. It's only drawback is that many people are allergic to its pollen. Happily it hasn't effected me.
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