Ligularias always used to be grown mainly for their bold upright spikes of yellow flowers but it’s interesting how the focus has changed. A few years ago we had a whole series of new coloured leaved forms from Canada and now the focus has adjusted again and we have the dramatically dissected foliage of ‘Dragon Wings’.
‘Dragon Wings’ is a form of the cut-leaved Ligularia przewalskii and it too has tall slender spikes of rich yellow daisy flowers on dark stems in summer. But the foliage adds a whole new dimension.
Reaching up to 30cm (1ft) across, and boldly cut into about a dozen sharply lobed segments rather than the seven segments of L. przewalskii, the rich green leaves come with their stalks and the veins towards the centre of the leaf coloured in deep red. So this is a lovely early season foliage plant even before the flower spikes emerge.
And there’s another thing. The leaves of many ligularias collapse on hot sunny days and, although they recover overnight, it can temporarily ruin the look of the border. Because ‘Dragon Wings’ has such dissected foliage, rather than the broad, rounded or more kidney-shaped leaves of other varieties, this is less likely to happen.
Plant ‘Dragon Wings’ in moist, water retentive soil in full sun or part shade and allow it to develop into an impressive specimen perennial.
You can order Ligularia przewalskii ‘Dragon Wings’ from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.
** Please note the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and are not necessarily those of the RHS **