Tolmiea menziesii – Piggyback Plant – Youth-on-age – Mother-of-Thousands


Tolmiea – Piggyback Plant – Youth-on-age – Mother-of-Thousands

There is one fast spreading, herbaceous evergreen perennial in this genus which is a relative to Heuchra and Saxifraga. It is found in coniferous woodland on the West Coast of North America, Northern California to Alaska. Young plants are produced on the leaves, where leaf stalk and blade meet. Leaves are heart shaped, coarsely toothed and hairy. Leafy stems bear erect racemes of small, variously colored but usually brownish-purple to white, cup shaped flowers with 3 stamens. Grow as a groundcover in a woodland garden.

Grow in cool, moist, humus rich soil in partial or deep shade. Sun will scorch the leaves, especially of T. menziesii ‘Taff’s Gold’. Divide in spring.

Prone to anthracnose, mealybugs and rust.

T. menziesii – This clump forming, hairy perennial with creeping rhizomes from Western North America grows 12-24″ tall and can spread 3-6′ feet wide.   The mainly basal, long stalked, triangular, shallowly lobed, toothed, conspicuously veined, pale to lime green leaves, to 5″ long. In late spring and early summer, produces one sided racemes of 20-50 slightly scented flowers, to 11/2″ long, with orange anthers, the sepals are pale green, heavily shaded and lined purple-brown, with thread like, purple brown petals   recurved between them.

Zones 6-9