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Eastern Leopardsbane

Doronicum columnae

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, 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, 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:
70 centimetres tall
Gardens, parks, roadsides, rocky places, towns, wasteland, woodland.

Yellow, many petals
Large, yellow, solitary, daisy-like flowers.
The fruit is an achene with a tuft of hairs at one end.
A clump-forming perennial flower with oval and toothed basal leaves.
Other Names:
Chamois Ragwort, Colonna's Doronicum, Column's Leopard's Bane, Leopard's Bane of the Alps.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Doronicum columnae, also known as Column leopard's bane, is a species of perennial herbaceous plant in the Asteraceae family. It is native to the alpine regions of Central and Southern Europe. 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 30-70 cm tall. The plant is a clump-forming perennial with a basal rosette of glossy, dark green leaves, and it is known for its tall spikes of bright yellow flowers that bloom in spring. 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.


Eastern Leopardsbane, also known as Doronicum columnae, is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia and is commonly found in woodlands, meadows, and grasslands. The plant is also known by several other names, including Leopard's bane, Leopard's bane of the Alps, and Colonna's Doronicum.

The plant has a sturdy stem that can grow up to 70 cm in height, with large green leaves that are ovate in shape and have a serrated margin. The leaves are also hairy, giving them a rough texture. The flowers of the Eastern Leopardsbane are large and daisy-like, with bright yellow petals and a central disk that contains numerous small yellow flowers. The plant blooms in late spring to early summer and attracts a wide range of pollinators, including bees and butterflies.

One of the unique characteristics of the Eastern Leopardsbane is its medicinal properties. The plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and diuretic properties and has been used to treat conditions such as arthritis, respiratory disorders, and urinary tract infections. The plant contains several compounds, including flavonoids and sesquiterpene lactones, which are believed to be responsible for its medicinal properties.

Despite its medicinal properties, the Eastern Leopardsbane is not without its risks. The plant contains toxic compounds that can cause skin irritation and dermatitis in some individuals. Ingesting the plant can also cause vomiting, nausea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

In addition to its medicinal uses, the Eastern Leopardsbane is also used in the horticultural industry as an ornamental plant. The bright yellow flowers and green foliage make it an attractive addition to gardens and landscapes. The plant prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial shade, making it an ideal choice for woodland gardens.

Unfortunately, the Eastern Leopardsbane is currently facing several threats. Habitat loss, climate change, and over-harvesting for medicinal use are all contributing to a decline in populations. In some areas, the plant is considered endangered or vulnerable. Efforts are underway to conserve the plant and its habitat, including habitat restoration and protection measures.

The Eastern Leopardsbane is not only a plant with unique characteristics and uses, but it is also a culturally significant plant. In some cultures, it is considered a symbol of courage, strength, and resilience. The plant has been used in traditional medicine in China and Europe for centuries and is still used in some parts of the world today.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Eastern Leopardsbane is its role in folklore and mythology. In ancient Greek mythology, the plant was said to have been created by the god Apollo to cure the wounds of his son, Asclepius. According to legend, the plant was named after the mountain nymph Doris, who was known for her healing powers.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the Eastern Leopardsbane is known as "Leopard's bane" and is used to treat a variety of conditions, including respiratory disorders, digestive problems, and skin irritations. It is believed to have cooling and drying properties and is often used to reduce inflammation and fever.

Today, the Eastern Leopardsbane is facing numerous threats, including habitat loss and fragmentation, over-harvesting for medicinal use, and climate change. Efforts are underway to conserve the plant and its habitat, including habitat restoration and protection measures. In some countries, the plant is protected by law, and its collection and use are strictly regulated.

In addition to its medicinal and cultural significance, the Eastern Leopardsbane also plays an important role in the ecosystem. The plant provides habitat and food for a variety of insects and other wildlife, including bees, butterflies, and moths. The flowers of the Eastern Leopardsbane are particularly attractive to pollinators and can help support healthy populations of these important species.

Furthermore, the Eastern Leopardsbane is part of a larger group of plants that are important sources of natural compounds with pharmaceutical potential. Many of the compounds found in the plant have been studied for their potential use in the treatment of cancer, inflammation, and other diseases.

Despite its potential benefits, the Eastern Leopardsbane faces a number of challenges to its survival. Habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, and over-harvesting for medicinal use are all contributing to declines in populations. However, efforts are underway to conserve the plant and its habitat, including the development of sustainable harvesting practices and the establishment of protected areas.

The Eastern Leopardsbane, like many other plants, contains a variety of chemical compounds that give it its medicinal properties. One of the main active ingredients in the plant is a group of compounds known as sesquiterpene lactones. These compounds have been found to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antitumor properties, among other potential health benefits.

Another compound found in the Eastern Leopardsbane is arnidiol, which has been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. This makes the plant potentially useful for the treatment of skin infections and other conditions caused by bacteria and fungi.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the plant is often used to treat respiratory problems, such as bronchitis and asthma. The plant is believed to have expectorant properties, helping to loosen phlegm and mucus from the lungs and making it easier to breathe. The plant is also used to treat digestive problems, such as nausea and vomiting, and has been found to have anti-ulcer properties in laboratory studies.

Furthermore, the Eastern Leopardsbane has been found to have potential in the treatment of cancer. Studies have shown that the plant's sesquiterpene lactones can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in tumor cells. This makes the plant a promising candidate for the development of new cancer treatments.

In conclusion, the Eastern Leopardsbane is a remarkable plant with a rich history of medicinal use and potential for new medical treatments. Its unique properties and chemical compounds make it a valuable resource for both traditional medicine and modern pharmaceutical research. However, conservation efforts are needed to protect the plant and ensure its continued availability for future generations. By supporting sustainable harvesting practices and protecting the plant's habitat, we can help preserve this important resource and potentially discover even more uses and benefits of this fascinating plant.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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