Winter Plant Profile: Giant Leopard Plant
At a time of year where there’s not a whole lot going on in the garden, there is one plant in town that is in the prime time of its season. The Giant Leopard Plant, Farfugium japonicum var. giganteum (formerly genus Ligularia) offers great large, year-round foliage, and in November and December, sends up its tall flower stalks, which become adorned with numerous clusters of tiny, yellow daisy-like flowers (the plant is in the Daisy family, Asteraceae).
The Giant Leopard Plant is native to the moist, coastal cliffs of Japan and grows in medium-sized clumps with large, leathery leaves with wavy margins. The plant spreads horizontally underground via rhizomes. It is evergreen and hardy down into the 10- 20-degree F temperature range, and is a great plant to add to moist, shady areas for its foliage and fall/winter blooms.
This plant can be found at the very front of Chapel Street Fountain Park under the large, oak tree by the sign and is currently in full bloom. It can also occasionally be seen in various shady courtyards of local restaurants and homes.