Ligularia stenocephala 'Rocket'❤️

(Leopard Plant)

Rating: 🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

Light: ⛅

Deer resistant: yes 🦌

Moisture: needs consistently moist soil

Size: 48” H x 36” W

Bloom: Spikes of yellow daisy-like flowers in late July

Hardiness zone: 4

Ligularias are a diverse species and underappreciated plants in the perennial garden. Ligularias produce basal mounds of uniquely attractive, large-leaf foliage, varying from triangular to rounded leaves, from medium green to inky black. In late summer, erect stems produce long flower spikes or clusters of daisy-like flowers that range from bright yellow to yellow-orange. Ligularias delight both with their foliage and bloom, and are never boring. The triangular-leaf Ligularias have a habit of looking sadly droopy in direct sun, to the point that they look like they might die any moment. As soon as the sun goes away, plants perk right back up as if nothing had happened. This will happen even if you keep plants positively soggy wet. It’s just part of their personality, Don’t worry about it and enjoy them as they are. The broad-leaf Ligularias do not show this behavior, and seem to be a little more resistant to sun or drier periods. Deer have never bothered our Ligularias.

‘Rocket’ forms tidy, compact mounts of basal foliage sporting very large dark green triangular toothed leaves that are attractive in and of themselves. In late July long flower spikes emerge with an impressively dense cluster of bright yellow daisy-like flowers. This plant is a quite imposing specimen plant. ‘Rocket’ was one of the first perennials we planted in our garden many years ago, and we still get many inquiries from passers-by about the identity of this plant. It is easy to find in the garden trade, and well worth seeking out. Like other thin-leaf Ligularias, ‘Rocket’ pathetically but only temporarily wilts in hot direct sun, no matter how much you water it. It bounces right back when the sun goes away or the temperatures cool. Deer haven’t bothered our plants.