Tag Archives: tractor seat ligularia

Tried and True: Ligularia reniformis

  • img_6451* Impressive in size and lush appearance.
    * Evergreen.
    * Looks tropical but can withstand light frost and cool winters.
    * Widely available for sale.

 In this country, as in Australia, we all know this plant as the tractor seat ligularia, which says quite a bit about our rural origins. I guess the leaves could be said to resemble a traditional tractor seat in shape and when growing strongly, getting pretty close in size. We have almost made this plant our own in New Zealand and have certainly pushed the boundaries of where it is grown – it is technically sub tropical and from East Asia. In warm areas, it gets considerably larger but even in cooler areas with a bit of frost, it makes an impressive clump a metre across and a metre high over time. It will need more protected conditions where frosts are more frequent but it is happy in high shade and on woodland margins. Typical of any perennial, it likes rich, well cultivated soil with plenty of humus and good moisture levels. While not immune to the munching ways of slugs and snails, it is nowhere near as tasty as hostas and we have never worried about pests or diseases on our plants. It is grown for its foliage and if you have the space for a large and impressive plant with large and impressive leaves (think giant water lily pads), it is a good addition and easy to contrast with a whole range of other plants. Reniformis is widely available in garden centres.