DORONICUM Leopards Bane

Doronicum is the one to select when you also want earliness – in many herbaceous borders it is this plant which provides the first splash of bright colour amongst the herbaceous perennials. It involves no particular problems – provide some support for the stems and dead-head the spent blooms. Keep watch for slug damage and cut the stems down to ground level in the autumn. Divide the clumps and replant every three years.

VARIETIES: D. plantagineum bears 3 in. flowers – its basic details are height 2-3 ft. Spacing 1.5 ft and

Flowering period: April-June. There are 2 outstanding varieties – ‘Miss Mason’ (2 ft) and ‘Harpur Crewe’ (3 ft). D. caucasicum is a smaller species (1-1.5 ft) with 2 in. flowers – it has produced the fully double variety ‘Spring Beauty’. The smallest Doronicum of all is also the first to flower – D. ‘Gold Dwarf (6 in.).

SITE AND SOIL: Any reasonable garden soil will do – thrives in sun or partial shade.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn or spring.

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