Rodgersia aesculifolia

9 Jul

Rodgersia aesculifolia (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Rodgersia aesculifolia (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.2m (flower spike 2m)

Eventual Spread: 1m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Saxifragaceae

Rodgersia aesculifolia is a deciduous herbaceous perennial with a clump forming habit. Its mid green glossy leaves are deeply palmate with up to 9 leaflets. Its leaflets are obovate with doubly serrate margins, deeply veined up to 30cm long and 12cm broad. Its white/ pink flowers appears as a terminal open panicle above its leaves and are up to 60cm in length. Its roots are fleshy rhizomes which aids its slow spread.

Rodgersia aesculifolia Flower (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Rodgersia aesculifolia Flower (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Rodgersia aesculifolia, commonly known as the Horse Chestnut Rodgersia or Fingerleaf Rodgersia, is native to north China. In its native habitat it grows in moist woods edges, scrub and damp meadows.

The etymological root of the binomial name Rodgersia is named after Rear Admiral John Rodgers (1812 – 1882), an expedition commander of the US Navy. Aesculifolia is derived from the Latin Aesculus (the Horse Chestnut tree) and folium meaning ‘leaf’.

Rodgersia aesculifolia Leaf (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Rodgersia aesculifolia Leaf (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Rodgersia aesculifolia useful as an effective dramatic ground cover next to lakes, ponds and boggy areas. It likes wet but not waterlogged soils.

Ecologically,  Rodgersia  aesculifolia flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Rodgersia aesculifolia their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Rodgersia aesculifolia Fruit (18/07/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Rodgersia aesculifolia Fruit (18/07/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Rodgersia aesculifolia prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will tolerate wet soils. It dislikes dry soils.

Rodgersia aesculifolia requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring.

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2 Responses to “Rodgersia aesculifolia”

  1. meha 21/04/2016 at 15:35 #

    the pictures 1-3 are shown Rodgersia podophylla

    • Davis Landscape Architecture 21/04/2016 at 16:04 #

      You may be correct and Kew has incorrectly labeled this plant. The leaf tips do appear to be broader and less rounded that you would expect for Rodgersia aesculifolia. However,there is significant variation in the leaf shape for this species. I will try to get clarification from Kew next time I visit.

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