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Rodgersia (roh-JER-see-uh)

Common Name:  Roger's flower, featherleaf

Light:  - Part shade to full shade

Soil:  Humus-rich, consistently moist to boggy

Moisture:  Constantly moist to wet

Blooms:  Early summer

Zones:  4 - 7

Rodgersia aesculifolia

Rodgersia henrici

Rodgersia Description and Cultural Information

All rodgersia have large, palmately shaped leaves and tall, branching flower spikes resembling Filipendula or a giant Astilbe. They grow from a thick rhizome with fibrous roots and prefer constantly wet soil and cool temperatures. Although several species exist, most plants found in today's gardens and in commerce are hybrids of very mixed parentage.

Rodgersia aesculifolia, fingerleaf rodgersia. 4 - 6'. This rodgersia has 2' wide crinkled, bronzed leaves resembling the horse chestnut tree, with cream-white or creamy-pink flowers.

Rodgersia henrici. 4 - 6'. Similar to R. aesculifolia but with pink flowers that turn to reddish as they age.

Rodgersia pinnata. 3 - 4'. This rodgersia usually has leaves arranged in pairs and can have white, creamy-pink, or even bright pink. 'Superba' is a highly recommended cultivar with bronzy foliage all season and tall, bright pink flowers.

Rodgersia podophylla, bronze-leaf rodgersia. 3 - 4'. These plants have large, jagged leaves that are bronze-green in the spring changing to green in the summer and then dark copper in the fall. Creamy white flowers appear in late spring.

Rodgersia sambucifolia. 3 - 4'. These plants have thinner leaves than R. aesculifolia, more resembling the paired leaves of the elderberry tree. It has creamy white flowers.

How to Grow:  Rodgersias need constantly moist to wet, humus-rich soil in part to full shade. Make sure they have a cool location, especially in warmer zones, and a spot that is protected from winter winds. They are faily slow growing and emerge rather late in the spring, just give them plenty of room to account for their eventual spread of 2 to 3'.

Landscape uses:  Plant rodgersia in the bog garden with other moisture loving plants such as Acorus, Siberian iris, water iris, Ligularia, Astilbe, ferns, hostas, and Lobelia.

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