October 2003
Plant of the Month
Ligularia Othello
(Ligularia dentata ‘Othello’)
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zone: 4
by Bill Boyle

Although I am not particularly a strong user of perennials, this plant caught my eye the first time I saw it and I have enjoyed it since. It is a perennial that is a great color addition to a shady garden both with its bronzy –maroon kidney shaped leaves and its golden orange flower, which is what caught my eye. As the plant starts in the spring it forms a very sizable clump of bronzy-maroon leaves. It will reach a spread and height of 3 feet or more, with the flower stalks reaching to 5 feet. In mid to late summer the show of bright, almost neon orange daisy type flowers begin to appear, and continue almost until frost. This very showy perennial does need a cool shady spot to grow. It will handle a lot of moisture. It will not tolerate heat or hot sunlight and it will suffer if planted in a sunny location. It works well around ponds or waterfalls, or to add an accent of color to a shady area of the landscape. The plant in my yard is on the east side of the house and is protected from the south sun by a large viburnum. It survived last winter with no additional mulch and no snow cover, so hardiness doesn’t seem to be a problem. Most sources list it as a zone 4 plant. By: Bill Boyle Wilson's Nursery, Inc.
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