However, I have happened upon what I would describe as no ordinary ligularia - Desdemona.
Desdemona, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways
First - the fact that it actually grows!! I have killed so many ligularia; and the ones that I have managed to keep alive before finding this one have required a lot of attention.
Second - it's easy! I barely have to do anything to mine - even in FULL SUN!!
Third - they grow in FULL SUN!! Strike that. They aren't so much "growing" as they are "thriving". Having them in full sun was an accident. This area was originally very shaded, but the shade came from annual sunflowers. I had intended to move the ligularia the following spring, but they never gave me a reason to follow through with that plan. Even in the height of summer they do just fine here in FULL SUN!
Fourth - rarely needs extra watering. Ligularia have gained quite a bit of a reputation for being water hogs; and I have to say that my vote is in the affirmative on that one for every other ligularia that I have grown. But these are no ordinary ligularia! I am watering many of my other regular garden plants due to lack of rain or excessive heat long before I even need to think about the Desdemona - and did I mention that these are in FULL SUN?
Fifth - their height. The oldest plant is already over 3' high this year!
Sixth - the texture they add to the garden. Their leaves are Huge! I was just reading the other day that gardens without variety in leaf size and structure will appear boring.
These are definitely not boring. In fact they really do make all the plants around them look better!
Seventh - the color. The leaves are a spruce green on top and an iridescent raspberry underneath. The dark stems add even more contrast and interest.
Eighth - they flower! And they have nice, big, interesting flowers - and lots of them!
Ninth - the structure and form. It is a very architectural plant that can be used successfully in a formal or cottagey garden.
Tenth - did I mention they were easy?
If some one had never planted a ligularia before, this is THE ONE that I would recommend.