Kirengeshoma Species, Yellow Wax Bells

Kirengeshoma palmata

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Kirengeshoma (kir-en-geh-SHOW-muh) (Info)
Species: palmata (pahl-MAY-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Kirengeshoma koreana
Synonym:Kirengeshoma palmata var. koreana
Synonym:Kirengeshoma suffruticosa
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

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

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Denver, Colorado

Hamden, Connecticut

Ringgold, Georgia

Boise, Idaho

Park Ridge, Illinois

Paoli, Indiana

Cedar Falls, Iowa

Sheldon, Iowa

Baltimore, Maryland

Westminster, Maryland

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Dracut, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Upton, Massachusetts

Wayland, Massachusetts

Plainwell, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Hopkins, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

, New Brunswick

Rochester, New Hampshire

Croton On Hudson, New York

Fairport, New York

Pittsford, New York

Sag Harbor, New York

Webster, New York

Charlotte, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Glouster, Ohio

Toledo, Ohio

Bay City, Oregon

Gresham, Oregon

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Hermitage, Pennsylvania

Morrisville, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Logan, Utah

Lexington, Virginia

Orlean, Virginia

Springfield, Virginia

Sequim, Washington

Suquamish, Washington

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 13, 2018, psebelist from Morrisville, PA wrote:

I have had the plant for about 8 years and it has never gotten bigger than about 2 feet x 2 feet. Seems happy and healthy. It has only bloomed a few times, each with only one bloom. It's in the shade and I keep it well watered. I moved it to a new location about three years ago, hoping that would stimulate it to grow larger, but I just keep waiting for it to get bigger. Not really complaining, just doesn't seem to correlate with the other comments I have read about the plant.


On Mar 19, 2016, Clint07 from Bethlehem, PA wrote:

A great specimen plant in my shady, Zone 6 garden bed - 3x3x 18". Dependable, problem free for the 8 years I've had it. Succession planting with earlier stuff around it would be a plus, for it arches over quite an expanse after mid-season, when it's fully developed. It makes you look like a skilled gardener!


On Mar 1, 2016, Keith2 from Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Late response to joellefm re deer : Kirengeshoma is generally advertised to be deer proof, but deer happily munch through the leaves in Charlotte 7b. It could be that part of deer-lore is that they must try everything once :-) .. . I plan to move my K ( have 3 of them ) ( when they revive this spring ) to different shady, protected areas, harder to reach and will see what happens . . .


On Aug 24, 2015, joellenfm from Coram, NY wrote:

I just bought one of these at the farmer's market in Montpelier VT for my daughter in law's new garden. Within two days something ate all the blooms!!! They live in town on a small but wooded plot...don't think it is deer therefore. Any ideas?


On Aug 27, 2013, ms_greenjeans from Hopkins, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

In my opinion, this plan is simply stunning and a shade garden must-have. That being said, in my Minnesota garden it either isn't as happy as I would like, or it just takes a long time to establish. I hope patience will be rewarded, because I'd absolutely love to have a nice big clump of this gorgeous plant.


On Oct 5, 2012, sadele from Sag Harbor, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Bought this in Iowa (Z4b/5a) about 7 years ago in a 3" pot, it survived 2 winters there; moved it to Long Island NY (z7a) where it's now about 4'x4', blooming more every year for a few weeks. A couple of blooms left as of Oct 5. It's growing with ferns, monkshood, hydrangea, tricyrtis, spiderwort. Deer have sampled it in the past but Liquid Fence keeps them away.


On Sep 27, 2012, lejardin24 from Hermitage, PA wrote:

I love this plant. It grows beautifully in 2 different gardens, one in Western Pennsylvania near route 80, and also on the Southwestern coast of Nova Scotia next to a protected back bay. The first year it grew to 2 feet high and 2 feet wide. It is one of the few late summer-early fall bloomers in my gardens. The leaves resemble a shorter, stockier version of the oak-leaf hydrangea, and the flowers are sprays of a pale, buttery yellow which project out in front of the leaves. A nice contrast against the foliage. It is so different, that it catches any gardener's eye. I was suprised to find that it is in the Hydrangea family.


On Apr 15, 2012, greshamdadjohn from Gresham, OR wrote:

The plant is about 15 years old and is in 3/4 shade and moist acid soil. When it reaches full summer growth it is about 5 by 4 feet in size. It was obtained at a garden sale at the Berry Botanic Garden in Portland, OR. I have never encountered any pest problems, but I do use slug-bait. I indroduce my friends to it as "the japanese aristocrat". Most of them say theve've never seen it before.


On Oct 12, 2011, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Seem to be solidly zone 4 hardy. Found out that they are very senstive to frosts and freezes - one year I had a unusually warm early spring and it came up earlier than usual then a late freeze hit it hard along with woodbine. Almost every other perennials just shrug off the freeze. Very late bloomer, here in Minnesota its blooming time is just barely before the average frost/freeze date.


On Sep 7, 2008, gardenlady123 from Plainwell, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Very nice color of yellow. Good to see some sunny color at the end when everything is starting to go dormant. Love the leaf shape and the swell of the flowers. Nice complimentary plant to the shady area. Want some more.


On Jan 10, 2008, Fledgeling from Huron, SD wrote:

kirengeshoma palmata is native japan, where it is a rare plant. Easily cultivated in a moist, humus-rich, well drained soil in shade or part shade.
Bloom time is very unusual for a shade perennial, and it is worth including in any shade garden for this.


On Jan 19, 2006, snyderlm from Paoli, IN wrote:

Mine has been growing for 5 summers, and gets better year after year. It's a great large plant for a shade garden! It gets very little sun, but it performs without fail each year! It isn't a flashy plant, but it is very pretty, and the bloom season lasts for several weeks. It doesn't get much care where it is growing, but it doesn't seem to mind.


On Jun 3, 2005, Shadyfolks from Chesterland, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I too love this plant, I have been growing it now for three years. I love watching the flower buds grow and swell up. My plant seems to do fine in a rather dry sandy location with only a little dappled sunlight. It's great for a woodland garden.


On Jun 2, 2005, paste592 from Westminster, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

What a beauty! I planted two last fall -- they were at the last of their bloom. One was k. palmata and the other, its open-belled cousin k. koreana The palmata was the less hardy-looking of the two, and I wouldn't have been that surprised to have lost it, but it's the other one that still hasn't come up. I don't think it's the fault of the plant -- a fellow MG had convinced me to mulch with thrice-chopped oak leaves, and I think I lost a lot of things to rot and suffocation.

The palmata is already quite tall and bushy and very healthy looking. Its foliage is a rather dullish green, but looks good against the flashy-foliaged plants I'm using with it -- pulmonaria in several varieties, hakonechloa, and aucuba to one side. I think I'll transplant some lamium in there as s... read more


On Sep 11, 2004, lego_brickster from Lawrenceville, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is my new favorite flower.
The bells are heavy and fleshy over 1 1/2 inches long - a pleasure to touch as well as look at. The unique shape of the flowers is welcome so late in the season.
The plants grow to about 3 feet tall in woodland settings - damp shade. They grow upright, and are rather strong and woody. Only the weight of the seedpods tends to pull them over.
Each plant will have dozens of these bells, but heavy rains tend to knock off the flowers. The seed pods swell to about 3/4 of an inch, and contain three compartments of small scaly seeds.
This is my first attempt at propagation, (trying both cuttings and saving seeds) and will report on my success (or failure) in the spring.