On Gardening: Giant leopard plant a spectacular member of the aster family

April 16, 2015 12:07 PM

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Members of the aster family can be described by a lot of wonderful adjectives, but "lush" and "tropical" are typically not among them. Yet that is the case with the giant leopard plant. Botanically speaking, I am referring to Farfugium japonicum 'Giganteum,' and though it is found growing on rocky cliffs in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, it is turning some of the squares here in Savannah, Ga., into visions of garden paradise.

I find this superb, as one of my horticultural heroes Robert Fortune is credited with introducing it to England in 1856. He was the quintessential plant explorer. Savannah is a town rich in botanical history, ranging from plant explorers from the Trustees Garden of the 1730s that many consider to-be...

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