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Ligularia dentata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
120 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, meadows, rocky places, sea cliffs, seaside, waterside, woodland.

Yellow, many petals
Large, orange-yellow, daisy-like flowers with leafless stalks. Insect pollinated.
The fruit is an achene. An achene is a kind of dry, one-seeded fruit.
Large, dark green, leathery leaves. The bases of the leaves are heart-shaped and the leaf in general is rounded. Serrated margins. Perennial. Seldom found growing in the wild in the British Isles.
Other Names:
Golden Ray, Summer Ragwort, Toothed Ligularia.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Ligularia dentata, also known as golden ray or toothed ligularia, is a species of perennial herbaceous plant in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Japan, China, and Korea. The plant has large, glossy, dark green leaves and produces spikes of bright yellow, daisy-like flowers in the summer. The flowers are held on tall stalks, usually about 4 feet tall. The leaves are large, toothed, and are often used as a foliage plant. It prefers moist, humus-rich soil, and shaded or partially shaded locations. It is often used in perennial borders, woodland gardens, and water gardens. It is also used as a cut flower and in dried flower arrangements. The plant is also known for its medicinal properties, the root of the plant is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea.


The Leopardplant, scientifically known as Ligularia dentata, is a striking and unique herbaceous perennial plant that is native to Japan, China, and Korea. This plant is highly prized for its large, bold, and dark green foliage that is often adorned with leopard-like spots, hence its common name. The Leopardplant is a member of the Asteraceae family and is closely related to other popular garden plants such as sunflowers, daisies, and asters.

The foliage of the Leopardplant is the main attraction of this plant. It typically grows to be about 2-4 feet tall and wide, with large, heart-shaped leaves that are deeply lobed and can grow up to 8 inches in diameter. The leaves have a velvety texture and are a rich, dark green color with distinct purplish-black spots that give the plant its leopard-like appearance. The flowers of the Leopardplant are also quite striking, with tall spikes of bright yellow flowers that can grow up to 3 feet tall. The flowers appear in late summer and are highly attractive to bees and other pollinators.

The Leopardplant is a relatively easy plant to grow and is well-suited to a variety of garden settings. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial shade, although it can tolerate full sun in cooler climates. It is also a good choice for gardens near ponds or other water features, as it prefers consistently moist soil. The plant is hardy to USDA zones 4-8, which means it can survive winter temperatures as low as -30°F.

One of the benefits of growing the Leopardplant is its ability to add bold texture and color to the garden. Its large, dark foliage provides an excellent contrast to other plants with lighter-colored leaves, and its distinctive spots make it a standout in any setting. The plant also works well as a specimen plant or as part of a mixed border, and its height makes it an excellent choice for the back of a garden bed.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Leopardplant also has a number of medicinal uses. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including inflammation, arthritis, and liver problems. The plant contains several compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, which may help explain its traditional use as a natural remedy.

There are several cultivars of the Leopardplant that are available in the horticultural trade, each with slightly different foliage or flower characteristics. Some popular cultivars include 'Desdemona', which has purple undersides to its leaves, 'Britt-Marie Crawford', which has deeply serrated leaves, and 'Othello', which has darker foliage with even more pronounced spots.

When growing the Leopardplant, it is important to keep in mind its preference for moist soil. This plant does not tolerate drought well, so it is important to water it regularly during dry periods. It is also important to avoid getting water on the foliage, as this can promote the development of fungal diseases.

The Leopardplant is generally free of serious pest and disease problems, although it can be susceptible to slug and snail damage. To prevent this, it is a good idea to keep the area around the plant free of debris and to use slug baits or other control measures if necessary.

In addition to its use as a garden plant, the Leopardplant also has cultural significance in some parts of Asia. In Japan, the plant is known as "rikkokun" and is associated with the autumn moon festival. It is sometimes used in traditional Japanese flower arrangements, or "ikebana," to represent the moon.

Another interesting feature of the Leopardplant is its tendency to attract a variety of wildlife to the garden. The plant's flowers are highly attractive to bees and other pollinators, while the foliage provides shelter and food for a variety of insects and other small animals. This can help to create a more diverse and dynamic ecosystem in the garden, which can have numerous benefits for the environment.

Finally, it is worth noting that the Leopardplant can be a good choice for gardeners who are interested in sustainable landscaping practices. This plant is generally low-maintenance and does not require excessive watering or fertilization. It is also a good choice for gardens that are designed to attract and support native wildlife, as it provides food and shelter for a variety of insects and small animals.

In summary, the Leopardplant is a beautiful, versatile, and culturally significant garden plant that offers a range of benefits for gardeners and the environment. Whether you're looking to create a striking focal point in your garden, attract wildlife, or simply enjoy the unique beauty of this plant, the Leopardplant is definitely worth considering.