Ligularia przewalskii aka Przewalski's golden ray comes from Northern China. Luckily it has found new father- or motherlands around the globe, but especially in the moderate climatic zones where the soil is rich in humus and never dries out. The palmately lobed and jaggedly cut deep green leaves prefer dappled shade rather than full sun which can cause them to wilt on hot days. And always does! That is why we should plant ligularia in a sheltered site both from the direct sun as well as strong winds. The latter can damage 2m (6ft) tall spikes covered with unusually formed bright yellow flowers.
From the botanical point of view each individual flower is in fact a small inflorescence with a few flowers of two kinds: one with long yellow petals that attract pollinating insects and us, and the other one with less ornamental appearance but responsible for the seed production. Bees do not distinguish between the two- neither do we- and visit the flowers pollinating what should be pollinated while trying to collect the sweet nectar.
Early spring or early autumn is the best time for planting new ligularias, which you can buy either in good garden centres or divide the big clumps in spring. If you let the seed develop you can be sure to get a a lot of seedlings the following spring, a valuable and abundant source of new ligularias.
Ligularia przewalskii looks great planted next to blue delphiniums, their favourite companions. We are lucky that they bloom at the same time creating a fascinating and unforgettable chromatic performance. Let us see what will happen if we accompany that show with the fantastic voice of Franco Fagioli?