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Doronicum pardalianches

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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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, Leopardplant, 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, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, 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:
1 metre tall
Gardens, riverbanks, roadsides, rocky places, seaside, towns, waterside, woodland.

Yellow, many petals
Lax clusters of large, light yellow, daisy-like flowers, 3 to 4.5cm across. Pollinated by beetles, flies, butterlies and moths.
A shallowly grooved achene with an unbranched plume of hairs at one end.
A tuberous perennial. Heart-shaped, toothed leaves with almost rounded tips. The leaves are a maximum of 12cm (5 inches) long. The leaves are alternate along the stems and short-stalked. Erect, almost hairless stems.
Other Names:
Crayfish, Crayfish Leopard's Bane, Great Leopard's Bane.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Doronicum pardalianches, also known as leopard's bane, is a species of perennial herbaceous plant in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia. The plant has large, glossy, dark green leaves and produces spikes of yellow, daisy-like flowers in the spring. The flowers are held on tall stalks, usually about 100 cm tall. The leaves are large, toothed and basal. It prefers moist, humus-rich soil, and shaded or partially shaded locations. It is often used in perennial borders, woodland gardens, and rock gardens. It is also used as a cut flower and in dried flower arrangements. It is tolerant of drought and can be grown in a wide range of soil types, and it is also tolerant of coastal conditions and pollution making it suitable for planting in urban areas. The plant is also known for its medicinal properties, the root of the plant is used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments such as fever, headaches and as an anti-inflammatory.


Leopardsbane, also known as Doronicum pardalianches, is a flowering plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. This herbaceous perennial is native to Europe and Asia and is commonly found in meadows, woodlands, and on riverbanks. The plant grows up to 1 meter in height and produces bright yellow flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer.

The plant is commonly known as Leopardsbane because its roots were once used to treat leopard bites and other animal attacks. In fact, the plant's Latin name, pardalianches, is derived from the Greek word pardalis, which means leopard. The plant's medicinal properties were first documented by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used it to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, diarrhea, and wounds.

Today, Leopardsbane is primarily used as an ornamental plant, although its medicinal properties are still recognized and used by some. The plant's bright yellow flowers make it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add color to their gardens in the spring and summer months. The plant prefers well-drained soil and partial shade and is relatively easy to grow, making it a great choice for novice gardeners.

In addition to its ornamental and medicinal uses, Leopardsbane also has a number of ecological benefits. The plant provides food and habitat for a variety of insects, including bees and butterflies. It is also a popular food source for grazing animals such as deer and rabbits. The plant's roots help to stabilize soil and prevent erosion, making it a valuable addition to riverbank and wetland restoration projects.

Despite its many benefits, Leopardsbane can be toxic to some animals, particularly cats and dogs. The plant contains a compound called pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can cause liver damage if ingested in large quantities. For this reason, it is important to keep pets away from the plant and to handle it with care.

Leopardsbane has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, particularly in Europe and Asia. The plant contains a variety of active compounds, including sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, and essential oils, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant properties.

In traditional medicine, Leopardsbane has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including rheumatism, arthritis, respiratory infections, and digestive disorders. It has also been used externally to treat wounds, burns, and skin infections.

Modern research has confirmed some of the plant's traditional uses. For example, studies have shown that the plant's essential oil has antimicrobial properties and may be effective against a range of bacteria and fungi. Other studies have shown that the plant's sesquiterpene lactones have anti-inflammatory effects and may be useful in the treatment of conditions such as osteoarthritis and asthma.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Leopardsbane has a number of cultural and historical associations. In ancient Greece and Rome, the plant was associated with the goddess Artemis, who was often depicted wearing a wreath of Leopardsbane flowers. In European folklore, the plant was said to protect against witches and evil spirits.

Leopardsbane is a plant that has inspired artists and writers throughout history. The plant's bright yellow flowers and lush foliage have been depicted in paintings, tapestries, and poetry. In the medieval period, Leopardsbane was a popular motif in illuminated manuscripts, where it was often used to symbolize the virtue of courage.

In literature, Leopardsbane has been mentioned in works by Shakespeare, Chaucer, and other prominent writers. In Shakespeare's play "King Lear," for example, the character Cordelia refers to Leopardsbane as a remedy for madness, saying "But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter, Or rather a disease that's in my flesh, Which I must needs call mine. Thou art a boil, A plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle In my corrupted blood. But I'll not chide thee. Let shame come when it will, I do not call it. I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot, Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove. Mend when thou canst, be better at thy leisure. I can be patient, I can stay with Regan, I and my hundred knights." In Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales," the character of the Pardoner carries a bottle of Leopardsbane as part of his collection of holy relics.

Today, Leopardsbane is still appreciated for its beauty and cultural significance. In addition to its use as an ornamental plant, it is also used in herbal medicine and is sometimes included in natural skincare products.

In conclusion, Leopardsbane is a plant with a rich and fascinating history. Its medicinal properties, ecological benefits, and cultural significance make it an important part of our natural heritage. Whether you're a gardener, a herbalist, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, Leopardsbane is a plant that is well worth learning about and experiencing firsthand.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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