Do you have a damp, shady spot that needs a little drama? ‘Bottle Rocket’ ligularia will provide that in spades with its bold foliage and eye-catching flowers. This moisture-loving perennial sports large, coarsely toothed, heart-shaped leaves—their deep green color provides a dramatic foil for foot-long stalks of bright yellow daisylike flowers that appear in midsummer. This cultivar is more compact and more heat tolerant than typical ligularias, making it a standout in the garden. Ideal for bog gardens, near ponds or streams, or other soggy spots.
Common name: ‘Bottle Rocket’ ligularia
Botanical name: Ligularia ‘Bottle Rocket’
Plant type: herbaceous perennial
Zones: 4 to 9
Height: 2 to 3 feet
• Sun: Partial shade or full shade.
• Soil: Rich, moisture retentive.
• Moisture: Evenly moist to wet.
• Mulch: A light layer of organic mulch.
• Pruning: Deadhead flower stalks after flowers fade.
• Fertilizer: Add a layer of compost or a light fertilizer application in spring.
Pests and diseases
• Combine ‘Bottle Rocket’ ligularia with other moisture-loving perennials, cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), swamp milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), and turtleheads (Chelone spp.).
• Contrast the big, bold foliage of ‘Bottle Rocket’ ligularia with the finer textured leaves of moisture-loving iris, such as blue flag (Iris versicolor) or Japanese iris (I. ensata).
All in the family
• ‘Bottle Rocket’ ligularia is a member of the aster family (Asteraceae), one of the largest families in the plant kingdom.
• “Daisylike” describes the flowers of many familiar aster family members including zinnias, marigolds, asters, dahlias, and chrysanthemums.
Where to buy
• Gilbert H. Wild, Reeds, MO, 888-449-4537, www.gilberthwild.com
• Great Garden Plants, Holland, MI, 877-447-4769, www.greatgardenplants.com
• Romence Gardens, Grand Rapids, MI, 888-907-5268, www.romencegardens.com
(Photo courtesy Walters Gardens)