Rodgersia pinnata ‘Superba’

Rodgersias are star plants for any garden that can provide a little permanent mois-ture in the soil. These are herbaceous perennials, which one thinks of first as foliage plants, though the flowers are tall and handsome. Rodgersia pinnata ‘Super-ba’, a selected form of a Chinese species. Has large pinnate leaves, which are bright bronze. In mid-summer these are out-topped by brilliant pink, feathery flower-heads. The hairy bronze-green fans of another Chinese species, R. aesculifolia, look exactly like the leaves of a horse chestnut, and grow well above the ground on stalks that are 2 feet (60 cm) high. The flowers unfurl like ferns in spring and bloom in mid-summer, tall, creamy plumes of star-shaped blossom standing some 2 feet (60 cm) above the chestnut leaves.

Rodgersias like rich, moist, peaty soil and revel in a sunny place by a pond or in a ditch, but they are adaptable plants. They will grace a damp border and grow well by the house in suitably moist soil. Where they benefit from protection from the wind. They will accept lime, and are often grown in light shade. They make excellent ground-cover, and for elegance and beauty more than hold their own among the many other fine plants of the waterside, such as hostas, irises, astilbes, and many more. Plant the rhizomes 30 inches (75 cm) apart in groups of three. Five, seven or more, according to the space at your command.

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