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Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane

Doronicum x excelsum

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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, 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, 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, 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, hedgerows, parks, roadsides, woodland.

Yellow, many petals
Large, golden yellow, daisy-like flowers. Flowers each measure up to 4 inches (10cm) in diameter.
The fruit is an achene (seed) with a pappus of hairs attached at one end.
Large, shallowly heart-shaped, mid-green leaves. Perennial.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Doronicum species are herbaceous perennial plants in the Asteraceae family, known for their large, glossy leaves and yellow, daisy-like flowers. They are commonly used in gardens and landscapes for their ornamental value, and they are also valued for their medicinal properties. If you know more information about this plant, such as its origin or its specific characteristics, it would be helpful in identifying it more accurately.


Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, or Doronicum x excelsum, is a beautiful perennial plant that is often grown in gardens for its bright yellow flowers and attractive foliage. It is a hybrid of two different species of Doronicum, which are native to Europe and Asia.

The plant is named after Sir Henry Harpur Crewe, who was a prominent horticulturist in the late 19th century. He is credited with creating the first hybrid of Doronicum, which was later named after him. Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane is a popular plant among gardeners today, known for its hardiness, ease of cultivation, and striking appearance.

The plant grows to a height of about two feet and spreads about the same distance. It has dark green, heart-shaped leaves that are slightly hairy, giving the plant a textured appearance. In late spring and early summer, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane produces bright yellow flowers that are up to three inches in diameter. The flowers resemble large daisies and are held on sturdy stems that rise above the foliage.

The plant prefers a well-draining soil and can tolerate a range of growing conditions, including full sun to partial shade. It is also deer-resistant, making it an excellent choice for gardens where deer are a problem. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 4-9, meaning it can withstand temperatures as low as -30°F (-34°C) without any damage.

Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane is often used in perennial borders, rock gardens, and cottage gardens. It pairs well with other spring-blooming plants like tulips and daffodils and can be used to add a pop of color to shady areas of the garden.

Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane is a hybrid plant, meaning it was created by crossing two different species of Doronicum. The two parent plants are Doronicum plantagineum, also known as plantain-leaved leopard's bane, and Doronicum pardalianches, commonly called leopard's bane. Both species are members of the Asteraceae family, which is also known as the daisy or sunflower family.

Doronicum plantagineum is native to central and eastern Europe and has been grown in gardens for centuries. It has large, heart-shaped leaves and produces bright yellow, daisy-like flowers in early spring. Doronicum pardalianches, on the other hand, is native to western Asia and produces large, yellow flowers on tall, leafy stems.

By crossing these two species, Sir Henry Harpur Crewe was able to create a plant that combined the best traits of both parents. Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane has the large, bright yellow flowers of Doronicum pardalianches and the attractive foliage of Doronicum plantagineum.

One of the benefits of Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane is that it is a low-maintenance plant that requires little attention once established. It is drought-tolerant and doesn't need to be fertilized often. The plant is also known for its ability to attract bees and butterflies, making it an excellent choice for pollinator gardens.

In addition to its ornamental value, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane has also been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments. The plant contains several compounds that have been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. However, it is important to note that the plant is toxic and should not be ingested.

In conclusion, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane is a beautiful and easy-to-grow perennial plant that is a favorite among gardeners. Its bright yellow flowers and attractive foliage make it a standout in any garden, and its hardiness and low-maintenance requirements make it an excellent choice for novice and experienced gardeners alike. Whether you are looking to add color to a sunny border or a shady corner of your garden, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane is sure to be a stunning addition.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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