Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Giant Leopard Plant
Farfugium japonicum 'Gigantea'

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Farfugium (far-FEW-gee-um) (Info)
Species: japonicum (juh-PON-ih-kum) (Info)
Cultivar: Gigantea

Synonym:Ligularia tussilaginea

36 members have or want this plant for trade.


Unknown - Tell us

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 27 photos.
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12 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral jedens On Dec 21, 2013, jedens from Murfreesboro, TN wrote:

This is a great plant for tennessee. Nobody here has ever heard of this plant. The nurseries have dropped the ball on this gem here. I also have palms in the ground here. I think my neighbors feel l am strange.

Positive Scuzelbut1 On May 21, 2013, Scuzelbut1 from Atlanta, GA wrote:

This plant has done so well for me in Atlanta, GA that I have divided it multiple times and given to neighbors! It does die back to the ground during colder winters but comes right back to life the moment it warms up. It does bloom much later for me than it seems to for other growers. Most years, it blooms in between November and January.

Positive houstonreg On Feb 9, 2013, houstonreg from Houston, TX wrote:

Bought a couple of these plants in spring 2012 and from the very beginning they thrived and grew. They were about a foot across when installed in a shaded side yard and now, Feb. 2013 they are 2 feet across. They laughed at our mild Houston winter. In pulling off a dead leaf during a bed cleanup a couple of weeks ago, I managed to accidentally pull up an offshoot with a few roots attached. Stuck it back in the ground a few inches from the mama plant and it seems to be doing just fine. I love everything about this plant. Looks like it would be difficult because it is so glossy beautiful, but it is the easiest plant in my yard.

Positive itom37 On May 13, 2012, itom37 from Charleston, SC wrote:

Great plant. Shade-loving, evergreen, tropical looking. It grew rapidly to get those big beautiful leaves, which make a great border for my deck which is in nearly 100% shade. The only issue with this plant is it does need a good deal of water in the hot Charleston summers.

Positive LJeske On Apr 22, 2012, LJeske from Spangle, WA wrote:

Spangle, WA (Zone 5b) - I have a variegated variety that is extremely well established and definitely cold hard in our region. Have never seen this plant flower.

Positive veggies10 On Dec 16, 2010, veggies10 from Kirkland, WA wrote:

I garden in Zone 7B (although sometimes it feels likes 6A). This plant does well, but collapses entirely in temps well below freezing. It resprouts from base in the spring. In our area, it is a slug magnet, so in order to keep it as its lovely self, I need to bait weekly during the busiest slug season.

Neutral breadspread On Feb 6, 2010, breadspread from Washington, DC wrote:

We live in Washington, DC and have a potted Giant Leopard plant which totally wows us. It's about 3' X 3' with some of its' leaves as big as large dinner plates. We have kept it outdoors for three years until this winter, which is a cold one. We have it indoors near a window and it is not thriving. But with 20" of snow outside, we're hesitant to move it out. We would love instruction from anyone who has one of these potted beauties and knows how much cold it can tolerate.

Positive vossner On Oct 7, 2008, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I adore this plant. It is a thirsty one for me and flowers are rather ugly; certainly not the reason why one would grow this plant. Still adore it.

Positive robcorreia On Oct 6, 2008, robcorreia from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

My very favorite plant in my garden. Nuff said!

Positive frogsrus On Oct 9, 2004, frogsrus from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a very beautiful foliage plant. It gets wilty in the hot dry summers here but perks right up in the evening. A shade lover in my climate but will tolerate the sun if watered frequently.

Positive MFDnSC On Oct 9, 2004, MFDnSC from Summerville, SC wrote:

This plant did very well in our heat (SC). It got early morning sun and an hour 1/2 of afternoon sun and would wilt a little, but kept watered it has done very well. I submited a pic of the flowers which are coming out now. They are not much compared to the leaves which added nice color to the shade garden.

Positive DeeTee On Aug 10, 2004, DeeTee from Cowaramup
Australia wrote:

I live in Australia and have been searching for the specific plant I have in the backyard. It's a Farfugium Giganteum but not the one in the picture. It has big green glossy leaves with no spots or ruffles. It looks like the old style tractor seat, and that's actually what we bought it named as. A Tractor Seat Plant. Anyway it's growing beautifully and has flowered once. Fully recommend this plant.

Positive aking1a On Sep 12, 2003, aking1a from Baton Rouge, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I certainly agree with DLSlandscape - the variegated Leopard plant is one of my favorites for shade. The thick green leaves are about a hands width across and slightly cupped. Mine has never frozen down in Baton Rouge. The only trouble I have ever experienced is when we had 27 inches of rain in three days and the poor thing almost drowned. I had to dig it out to let it drain and dry out. The yellow flowers are, in my opinion, inconsequential. My plant is 24 inches tall and 30 inches wide. This plant also comes with solid green leaves. We know it by the synonym Ligularia tussilaginea in my area.

Positive DLSLandscape On Apr 6, 2003, DLSLandscape from Dallas, TX wrote:

Why this plant is not more popular in North Texas - or other areas with similar climates - is a mystery. This is a beautiful plant that could easily be used in place of Hosta (but without the slug problems) or Fern. Best of all, I've found it to be ever-green to about 15 degrees F. The only damage I've seen it sustain in a winter was from an ice storm. You can just trim out the damaged leaves in March, and the plant fills back in within days.
Leopard Plant can be hard to find, but well worth the effort. It prefers morning sun or full shade. Direct sunlight causes the plant to take on a wilting look. Regular watering, fertile soil, and occasional flower fertilizer are also required. Despite its description, I have never seen this plant get taller than 18-24 inches. Combine this plant with a backdrop of Persian Shield for a look that will make people's jaws drop.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Arroyo Grande, California
Brentwood, California
Calistoga, California
Crescent City, California
Fremont, California
La Mesa, California
Montecito, California
San Diego, California (3 reports)
San Leandro, California
Washington, District Of Columbia
Apopka, Florida
Bonita Springs, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Miami, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia (3 reports)
Augusta, Georgia
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
Monroe, Louisiana
Ridgeland, Mississippi
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Gladstone, Oregon
Bluffton, South Carolina
Camden, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Ninety Six, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Dallas, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Huffman, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Spring, Texas
Chimacum, Washington
Kirkland, Washington
Spangle, Washington

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