Favorite Plants #7 – Farfugium

Farfugium! It just kind of rolls off your tounge. At first, I really was miffed at the taxonomical change from what I knew as Ligularia tussilaginea to Farfugium japonicum. But, it acutally is a good thing, because what is still known as Ligularia are not predictably hardy here in our sultry Northeast Texas summers. Plus, I never did know how to pronounce “tussilaginea”! What is Farfugium? Probably best know as the Leopard Plant, large, lilypad like leaves with bright yellow splotches. Unlike their animal namesakes, I’ve had several Leopard Plants change their spots, or, more acurately, lose their spots. But, that doesn’t bother me that much, because these are tremendous shade-loving perennials. Their large, bold leaves make great contrasts with feathery fern foliage. And, at this time if year, they are topped with an abundance of yellow daisy flowers, which clues you in that these are unlikely members of the Asteraceae or sunflower family. this photo is of a seedling that quickly reverted in my home garden. It is currently in full bloom. My favorite is the big, bold F. japonicum ‘Giganteum’ which I got from the good folks at Stephen F. Austin Mast Arboretum. It has enjoyed a prominent spot in my shade garden trial located in the Tyler Rose Garden. I’ll share a photo a bit later.

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