Shieldleaf Roger’s flower impresses in shady places with huge leaf canopies. The perennial is best kept at moist edges of ponds and streams.
Profile of shieldleaf Roger’s flower:
Scientific name: Astilboides tabularis
Plant family: saxifrage family (Saxifragaceae)
Other names: Astilboides
Planting time: spring or autumn
Flowering period: June to July
Location: partially shady to shady
Soil quality: sandy to loamy, nutrient rich, humus rich
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: single planting, group planting, pond planting, underplanting, natural garden, park, forest garden, water garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 5 (-26 °C / -15 °F)
Bee and insect friendly:
shieldleaf Roger’s flower
Plant characteristics and classification of shieldleaf Roger’s flower
Plant order, origin and occurrence of shieldleaf Roger’s flower
Originally, the shieldleaf Roger’s flower (Astilboides tabularis), which belongs to the saxifrage family (Saxifragaceae), is native to the humid valleys and hillside forests of northern China and North Korea.
Characteristics of shieldleaf Roger’s flower
With its huge umbrella-like leaves, the shieldleaf Roger’s flower is one of the most beautiful big leafed perennials for shady garden areas with moist soils. In summer, it shines with many white, slightly overhanging flower panicles not unlike those of astilbes. However, Astilboides tabularis needs a few years to show up in full beauty. Underground, the plant spreads with the help of rhizomes.
The expressive leaf canopy of the shieldleaf Roger’s flower resembles a huge bouquet of pale green leaves that rise 70 to 100 centimeters (28 to 40 in) in height, overlapping on upright stems. The deciduous leaves sprout late, but quickly grow to an imposing size of about 90 centimeters (36 in) in diameter. The upper side of the leaf is rough, slightly hairy and its edge is crisscrossed with notches.
The small, creamy-white flowers appear only in June/July, long after the leaves have sprouted in spring. They form a densely packed, panicle-shaped inflorescence. The inflorescence stem also bears small, palmate foliage leaves. This inflorescence is reminiscent of those of the astilbe. However, the shieldleaf Roger’s flower blooms for the first time only at the age of 2 to 3 years.
The perennial forms follicle fruits.
Shieldleaf Roger’s flower – cultivation and care
The shieldleaf Roger’s flower feels comfortable only in partially shady to shady places. In the sun, the leaves burn quickly. Therefore, look for a planting site along woody plants, flowing or standing water. Since the plant prefers a slightly acidic soil, a neighborhood with bog plants can also be considered.
If you want to plant a shieldleaf Roger’s flower, the perennial should be offered a cool, moist, well-drained and slightly acidic soil that does not dry out or is permanently wet. In addition, Astilboides tabularis loves a humus, nutrient-rich soil.
In principle, you can plant young shieldleaf Roger’s flowers from spring to autumn. But the weather should better not be too hot. The perennial needs a space of 1.5 to 2 square meters, in order to unfold its large leaves.
The site conditions determine the frequency of watering. The shieldleaf Roger’s flower wants to stand permanently moist and preferably not dry out. Since the plant favors a low-calcium environment, collected rainwater is suitable for watering. If available, pond water is also suitable for this purpose.
During budding, the shieldleaf Roger’s flower receives a slow-release fertilizer. Alternatively, in the course of the growing season, apply compost from time to time.
If necessary, the faded panicles are cut out in July. In the fall, the withered leaves can be cut off close to the ground. Wait until the foliage has completely changed color to do this care. During this time, the rhizome will take in all the remaining nutrients to prepare for the coming winter and build up reserves for the next season
Are more specimens of this plant desired, there are several ways of propagation to choose from.
This uncomplicated method of propagation you tackle in the spring. The shieldleaf Roger’s flower should be 3-5 years old and well established at the site. The root zone is dug out widely and divided into two or more segments with a sharp spade. Each segment is immediately planted in the new location and cared for.
Because shieldleaf Roger’s flower develops a thick, fleshy rhizome, it can be propagated using root cuttings. This procedure is a little more time consuming than dividing. However, it is useful when working towards a larger number of plants.
- Cut several well-developed roots from the mother plant.
- Cut each root into 5-10 cm thick slices.
- Make a straight cut at the base and an angled cut at the opposite side.
- Fill growing pots with nutrient-poor substrate.
Place the prepared root cuttings in the soil with the straight cut end down. The top end is flush with the substrate surface. This is followed by a thin layer of sand. Place in a partially shady, cool place and wait for rooting. Only when the first sprouting appears at the top, water the young plants.
The very fine seed has an amazing germination capacity. Therefore, it is excellent for uncomplicated propagation in the hobby garden. A small pot is filled with peat sand, coconut fiber or commercial seed soil and moistened. On it scatter the seeds, which need light to germ, so just press slightly. At an average temperature of 20 °C / 68 °F in a partially shady place, germination will start within 10 to 14 days. The seedlings are transplanted into individual pots at a height of 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in). Once the young plants have developed their own root system, they can be planted outdoors. The very fine seeds can be scattered better if they are mixed with a little bird sand.
Diseases and pests
Astilboides tabularis is robust and insensitive to plant diseases. Snails, on the other hand, can certainly become a problem.
Shieldleaf Roger’s flower is so hardy that it can withstand temperatures down to -26 °C / -15 °F. If the withered leaves are cut in the fall, a light winter protection is still advisable. If you pile up leaves, soil, brushwood or straw over the root area, this measure is quite sufficient.
Use in the garden
On shady banks of streams and larger garden ponds, the shieldleaf Roger’s flower with its big green leaves forms a calm and broad backdrop for plants that also do not like to be exposed to the sun. These include barrenworts (Epimedium x perralchicum), ferns such as scaly male fern (Dryopteris affinis) or lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), or many sedges.