Appreciation: Farfugium japonicum - curly leaf leopard plant

Discussion in 'How's It Growing?' started by wcutler, Sep 7, 2020.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I never got around to posting this last week, what I think is Farfugium japonicum 'Crispatum' (Curly-leaf leopard plant). It's a Park's Board planting, just two small plants around this size in Alexandra Park along the sidewalk across from English Bay. I read that this is an evergreen perennial (a confusing description for me) and that it should get pale daisy-like flowers in late summer. I don't see any sign of this going to have flowers or any indication that I missed them. I was trying to show how hairy the new leaves are.
    Farfugium japonicum 'Crispatum'_AlexandraPark_Cutler_20200831_125924.jpg Farfugium japonicum 'Crispatum'_AlexandraPark_Cutler_20200831_125945.jpg
     
  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I see one on the web called 'Wavy Gravy' that also looks like the one in your photo. Wikipedia does say it's evergreen but other sites say it's deciduous and I don't think, looking at your pictures that it would hold up well in freezing temperatures. It's not considered to be in the genus Ligularia anymore though you can certainly see the similarity - I wonder if it needs as much watering as Ligularia.
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Yes. I think I remember reading somewhere that has now disappeared forever that that cultivar had more angular edges and 'Crispatum' had smoother wavy edges. Or I imagined it, but I did make a decision which name to use based on something. Here is a page that lists several cultivars; it doesn't have a photo of 'Wavy Gravy', but the 'Crispatum' photo looks pretty similar.
    Suncrest Nurseries, Inc.: Search Our Plant Database

    Here is an interesting page from Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanical Garden in North Carolina that has some history, starting back from the first name in 1768 - Arnica tussilaginea. On this page, 'Crispatum' doesn't match very well, but 'Fujuku Botan' matches well, as does 'Shishi'; I don't think their 'Wavy Gravy' matches as well, and the edges do look a little more angular. They mention that Farfugium japonicum hybridizes easily and the seedlings should not have cultivar names.
    Plant Delights Nursery

    [Edited] I forgot to say that the leaves are tomentose on the top, but underneath, the hairs do not rub off.
     
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I have copied the postings above from the Out and About thread, because I'm interested in this plant and would like to follow it a bit over time. Today, the 'Wavy Gravy' cultivar name search brings up lots of photos that look like this. I read somewhere that this flowers in August, but there are attractive flower buds now and the leaves for the most part look excellent. We'll see what the upcoming freeze does for it.
    Farfugium japonicum_AlexandraPark_Cutler_20210123_154417.jpg
     
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Is this going to be a new acquisition for you Wendy?? I hear it makes an excellent potted plant.
     
  6. Gwen Miller

    Gwen Miller Member

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    I picked up Farfugium japonicum 'Wavy Gravy' early last summer. The extent of the leaf ruffling varies quite a bit in online photos. Mine is a bit more restrained. It was being grown in a shaded house and wilted immediately as I carried it out of the shade over to the checkout. I planted it below a tree and shaded it for the first couple of weeks. Once settled in, it adapted to a couple of hours of sun and expanded rapidly. (Too rapidly? We shall see.) It looked tattered and dirty by the cold snap in February, and spent a week tucked under a flower pot. It's survived well and will likely start to look better when the heuchera pick up.

    Edit: Adding a couple of photos from when it was new last summer and wilting in late July, and today, showing the winter splatter and tattered leaves. It was casually covered with a pot for a couple of weeks through the February cold snap. It's certainly alive and keen to send out some new leaves. It didn't flower last year, but might be nice to see, depending on when that yellow appears. The form and colour of other farfugium flowers isn't bad at all!
     

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