Damera peltata & pond

Darmera peltata                Family: Saxifragaceae
(dar-MARE-ah  pell-TAY-tuh)
Syn. Peltiphyllum peltatum; Saxafraga peltata
Common name: umbrella plant; Indian rhubarb
Zone: 5 – 7 
Height:  3–5 ft (0.9–1.5 m)  Spread: 3–5 ft (0.9–1.5 m)
Aspect: sun; partial shade; full shade
Soil: humus-rich; moist; average; clay
Water: regular; moderate     

Darmera peltata flowersDescription: Herbaceous perennial with thick rhizomes. Small pink and white flowers in terminal, rounded corymbs appear atop thick stems in early spring before the foliage. Large, 18-inch (45 cm) wide, medium green, rounded, lobed leaves with serrated edge follow the blooms, forming a large mound which lasts throughout the season with regular watering. Stunning foliage colour in autumn. 

Special Notes: Native to mountain streambanks and woodland areas in SW Oregon and northern region of California. Prefers medium to wet soil conditions in part to full shade but tolerates average and clay soils with regular watering. Will also tolerate full sun locations if plant is kept consistently moist.

The tall leaf stalk, or petiole, is attached in the centre underside of the large leaf which creates a shallow cup-shape. This allows the upward facing leaves to collect a small pool of rain water. Various insects often avail themselves of a drink.

This plant species spreads exponentially by rhizamous roots so give it adequate space. It is ideal for moist, boggy areas, as well as assist in stabilizing sensitive stream and pond margins. No serious insect or disease problems. Propagation by division.

In our Zone 7a garden: This plant has pride of place in its own bed beside our pond. It is in a full sun location and is watered regularly so we can attest to its stunning autumnal display.

We have not experienced any problems with the exception its spread will exceed 5 feet (1.5 m) which necessitates reducing its size every 5 to 7 years.

Great Plant Pick 2008

Posted on June 12, 2024