by Pamela Frye, Somervell County Master Gardener
One of my favorite plants is one I just recently learned about called the leopard plant, or Farfugium japonicum. It is a native to most streams and meadows of Japan. The leopard plant is a perennial that produces waxy showy foliage and is a great candidate for shady areas. It is hardy in zones 7 through 10.
Leopard plant comes in several different species. The foliage ranges from small to very large, smooth or glossy, and even in a variegated one with bright yellow spots which might explain its common name of Leopard plant.
Leopard plants can tolerate temperatures to below 20 degrees F in winter. If temperature falls below that they will drop their leaves and re-emerge in spring. In addition to the beautiful foilage the plants produces tall spikes of yellow blooms similar to daisies in late summer and early fall.
Plant attracts butterflies with yellow flowers and is deer resistant.
It can reach a height and width of two feet. During bloom time it may reach up to three feet. Leopard plants can tolerate some morning sun or dappled shade throughout the day. They must have shade during the heat of the day. Moist soil is must but with good drainage.
So, if you would like to add a dramatic effect to your shade garden, check out the Leopard plant.