Bigleaf Ligularia, Leopard Plant, Golden Groundsel 'Desdemona'

Ligularia dentata

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ligularia (lig-yoo-LAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: dentata (den-TAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Desdemona



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade



Bloom Color:


Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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


Anchorage, Alaska

Arroyo Grande, California

San Leandro, California

Atlanta, Georgia

Newburgh, Indiana

Iowa City, Iowa

Gonzales, Louisiana

Plainwell, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Stockton, Minnesota

Piedmont, Missouri

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Perrineville, New Jersey

Brewster, New York

Genoa, New York

Rochester, New York

Cottage Grove, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Hood, Virginia

Ellsworth, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 26, 2016, Rockguy1 from Calgary,
Canada wrote:

Foliage is very impressive, but slugs will chew the heck out of the leaves if you let them. The flowers are a really nice shade of yellowish orange.


On Dec 28, 2012, Domehomedee from Arroyo Grande, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

We call this plant "tractor seat" plant. I grow it in a half barrel in part sun, next to a water feature. In summer it requires plenty of water and can still go limp on hot days. Mine is blooming now, in late December, but no matter I'll take blooms whenever they come! Easier to grow in California than Gunnera, has large tropical looking leaves. Mine has multiplied in the pot.


On May 6, 2010, zillabug from Cato, NY wrote:

We have it growing in several locations with different soil types. In moist sandy soil it has tripled its size (via runners) in one year. Great plant for filling moist, dark areas.


On May 16, 2009, NoLawns from Warrenville, IL wrote:

Great Plant... Love The Way New Foliage Emerges... Handles A Little More Sun, And Can Handle Less Moisture... But Not Both... Slugs And Snails Are A Big Problem, They Love It More Than Hostas...


On Aug 4, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Excellent choice for the shady, moist garden. The large leaves add texture contrast to ferns and hostas, and the late flowering habit provides an extension to the blooming season.
Will not tolerate hot midday direct sun...will wilt terribly (but it will perk back up late in the day). Mine gets dappled sun only. Gets bigger with time, but has never made runners, sprouted volunteers, or developed any other invasive habit in the 4 years I have grown the plant. Herbaceous, hardy. Watch out for slugs and snails.