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Umbrella Plant

Darmera peltata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
150 centimetres tall
Marshes, meadows, mountains, riversides, swamps, waterside, woodland.

Pink, 5 petals
The flowers are small, up to 2.5 cm in diameter and have five petals. They are cup-shaped with a yellow centre.
The fruits are small, oval-shaped and green in colour. They turn a deep red when mature.
The leaves are large and deeply lobed, up to 40 cm in length. They are a dark green colour with a velvety texture.
The flowers have a sweet, aromatic scent.
Other Names:
California Rhubarb, Elephant Ears, Indian Beer Plant, Indian Rhubarb, Umbrella Leaf.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


The Umbrella Plant is a tropical plant native to Central and South America. It is a member of the Araceae family and is known for its large, showy leaves that resemble umbrellas. The leaves are deep green with white veins and can grow up to 2 feet wide. The flowers are yellow and borne in a spadix, which is a type of inflorescence. The Umbrella Plant is easy to care for and can thrive in a wide range of temperatures and light levels, making it a great choice for both indoor and outdoor gardens. It is a great choice for adding height and texture to any landscape, and its unique leaves make it a conversation starter.


The Umbrella Plant, scientifically known as Darmera peltata, is a stunning perennial plant that is native to the western part of North America. It is also known as Indian Rhubarb, and it belongs to the Saxifragaceae family. The plant is renowned for its striking beauty, and it is often grown for its decorative foliage and elegant pink flowers.


The Umbrella Plant can grow up to 1.5 meters tall and can have a spread of up to 1 meter. Its leaves are large, and they can be up to 60 cm in diameter, making them one of the largest leaves among perennials. The leaves are round or slightly heart-shaped, and they are deeply lobed. They are also slightly glossy, which gives them an attractive appearance. The leaf stalks are long and stout, and they are usually reddish-brown.

The Umbrella Plant blooms in the spring or early summer, producing clusters of delicate, pink flowers on tall stems that can reach up to 1.5 meters in height. The flowers are star-shaped and have five petals. They are held above the foliage, creating a beautiful display of color and texture.

Growing Conditions

The Umbrella Plant prefers moist soil and partial to full shade. It can tolerate wet soil, making it an excellent plant for planting near water features such as ponds and streams. It is hardy and can withstand cold temperatures, making it suitable for growing in most parts of North America.


The Umbrella Plant can be propagated through division or seed. Division is the most common method of propagation, and it should be done in early spring or fall. To propagate through division, dig up the plant, and separate the rhizomes. Each rhizome should have at least one growing point, and they should be planted immediately.

To propagate through seed, collect the seed in the fall and plant them immediately. The seed should be planted in a seed tray and kept moist. The seedlings can be transplanted into their permanent location after they have developed their first set of true leaves.


The Umbrella Plant is an excellent addition to any garden or landscape design. Its large leaves provide a lush, tropical feel, and its pink flowers add a pop of color. It is often used in mass plantings or as a specimen plant.

In addition to its decorative value, the Umbrella Plant has several medicinal uses. Its roots have been used by Native Americans to treat a variety of ailments, including constipation, diarrhea, and stomachaches.

More Information about the Umbrella Plant

The Umbrella Plant is not only a beautiful plant but also has some cultural significance. It was used by Native American tribes for various purposes. The roots were used to make a tea that was believed to have medicinal properties. The plant was also used for its edible roots, which were boiled or roasted and consumed.

Apart from its medicinal and cultural uses, the Umbrella Plant is also an excellent plant for improving the quality of water. Its large leaves and root system can help absorb nutrients and filter out pollutants, making it ideal for planting near water features such as ponds or streams.

When it comes to care, the Umbrella Plant is relatively easy to grow and maintain. It prefers moist soil, so make sure to water it regularly. It can tolerate partial to full shade, making it ideal for planting under trees or in shady areas of the garden. The plant can be susceptible to slug and snail damage, so be sure to take measures to control these pests if they become a problem.

In terms of pruning, the Umbrella Plant doesn't require much. Dead or damaged leaves can be removed as needed, and the plant can be cut back in the fall to promote new growth in the spring.

The Umbrella Plant is also known for its ability to attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Its bright pink flowers provide a source of nectar for these important pollinators, helping to support their populations.

Another benefit of the Umbrella Plant is that it is deer resistant. This is a great feature for gardeners who struggle with deer damage in their gardens. The plant's large leaves and tough texture make it unappealing to deer, reducing the likelihood of damage.

The Umbrella Plant can also be used in various garden styles and settings. It is commonly used in woodland gardens, shade gardens, and water gardens. Its large leaves and attractive flowers can also add interest to mixed borders and perennial beds.

When planting the Umbrella Plant, it's essential to give it enough space to grow. The plant can spread quite rapidly, and if it doesn't have enough room, it can become overcrowded and may not thrive. Plant it at least 1 meter apart to give it enough room to grow and spread.

In conclusion, the Umbrella Plant is a beautiful, easy-to-grow plant that offers many benefits to gardeners and the environment. It's an attractive addition to any garden or landscape design, and its cultural significance, medicinal properties, ability to attract pollinators, and deer resistance make it even more valuable. Consider adding the Umbrella Plant to your garden this year and enjoy its beauty and benefits for years to come.

Facts about the Umbrella Plant

  1. Darmera peltata is a species of flowering plant in the family Saxifragaceae.
  2. It is commonly known as the Umbrella plant or Indian rhubarb.
  3. The plant is native to western North America, including California and Oregon.
  4. It typically grows in wetlands, along streams and in moist forests.
  5. The plant can grow up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall and has large, round, umbrella-like leaves.
  6. The leaves are green to reddish in color and can reach up to 60 cm (2 feet) in diameter.
  7. The plant produces tall, erect stems that bear clusters of pink or white flowers.
  8. The flowers bloom in late spring or early summer.
  9. The plant is hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as -29°C (-20°F).
  10. It is a popular ornamental plant in gardens and landscapes, particularly in wetland and pond areas.
  11. Darmera peltata is also used in traditional Native American medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including skin irritations and digestive problems.
  12. The plant is also used in modern herbal medicine as a laxative and diuretic.
  13. The plant has been used for centuries by Native Americans for food, as the young leaves can be eaten cooked or raw.
  14. The plant is also known as "Indian rhubarb" due to its edible stems, which resemble rhubarb and have a tart flavor.
  15. The stems are typically harvested in the spring and can be eaten fresh or cooked.
  16. The plant is also known for its ecological importance, as it provides habitat and food for a variety of wildlife, including birds and insects.
  17. The plant is also important for stabilizing stream banks and reducing erosion in wetland areas.
  18. Darmera peltata can be propagated by division or by seed.
  19. The plant prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial to full shade.
  20. It can tolerate some drought but prefers consistently moist soil.
  21. The plant is relatively low-maintenance and does not require much pruning.
  22. The plant is not known to be particularly invasive or aggressive in garden settings.
  23. The plant may be susceptible to some pests and diseases, including slugs, snails, and powdery mildew.
  24. The plant is not considered toxic to humans or pets.