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Herbaceous Perennial

Jeffersonia diphylla

rheumatism root

J. diphylla is a deciduous perennial forming a compact clump of long-stalked leaves divided into two lobes, and pure white flowers 2.5cm wide, with eight petals, opening in early spring with the new leaves

Other common names
blue twinleaf
ground squirrel pea
see morehelmet pod
North American rheumatism root

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Green
Summer
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Berberidaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Jeffersonia are small, clump-forming perennials with2-lobed, kidney-shaped leaves and bowl-shaped white or pale violet flowers in spring

Name status

Correct

Plant range
North America

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist, humus-rich, preferably limey soil in partial or full shade; top dress with leaf mould or other humus-rich material in autumn. Dislikes disturbance and may take a year or two to settle after transplanting

Propagation

Propagate by seed in containers in an open frame as soon as ripe; divide established plants in autumn, leaving two or three new buds per clump; plants will flower in two to three years

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Rock garden
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Prone to slugs and snails, especially in spring

Diseases

Generally disease free

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