Big honkin' leaves?

carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)November 8, 2011

I want to add a few huge-leaved plants, preferably perennials, to my beds. What grows big in New England besides rhubarb? Too bad the climate is too cold for, say, Gunnera, which has really really big leaves.

I'm looking for outdoor plants, not tropicals that have to be brought inside in winter.

Carol

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

Actually, now I think back, my zucchini produced pretty big leaves. Maybe I should plant one next year in my perennial border.

Carol

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diggingthedirt

Sun or shade?

I have a Ligularia dentata whose name in the trade is now 'Dark Beauty' - originally called something like Dunkelaubig (I know it wasn't spelled that way, but it was German and meant something like big honking beautiful dramatic dark green glossy leaves with maroon undersides). It does really well in shade; it tolerates some dryness, although the leaves are biggest in moister locations.

The most successful large-leaved perennial I have in sun is Crambe cordifolia, but the leaves are not much to look at, only partly because it's a magnet for every slug and insect pest on the planet - it's in the cabbage family; nuff said. When it flowers, though, it's quite a sight, and smells divine.

I do have a Darmera peltata, which is a great plant but only hardy to zone 6; I've also tried Astilboides tabularis, but have not had it survive for more than a few seasons. They all like more moisture than I can give them.

Then there's princess tree, which needs to be cut to the ground each year to prevent flowering and to produce those enormous leaves. I DO sometimes worry that if I get hit by a truck, mine will be left to grow and set seed, but since a) it's right next to the house and b) I look both ways before crossing the street, that's very unlikely to happen.

Can't wait to see what else people come up with.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Stooled catalpa, like the princess tree, will produce larger leaves, and there is a variety 'Aurea' with golden foliage. There are some hosta varieties with quite large leaves. There are ornamental rhubarbs in addition to the common edible variety.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 11:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Carol, are you sure that you can't try a Gunnera in a protected spot in your zone 7 garden? It might be worth a try.
Also, many of the arums have tropical looking foliage and many are very hardy, to zone 5 or even 4.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 11:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

There's the Empress Wu Hosta that has huge leaves.

Claire

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 9:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

The Empress will get to be about 4 feet high and 7 feet wide in about 6 or 7 years. Here's a picture of two of them side by side in a garden in Rhode Island.

There are lots of Hosta that have leaves as large as this one. You could have one in gold (Key West), chartreuse (Sum and Substance) and/or Blue (Blue Angel or Elegans). These will all grow in some sun, but the leaves get bigger in full shade.

For non-hosta try Astilboides Tabularis or Rogersia.

Steve

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 5:44PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Mason Bee House - - Where to position?
I could go to the Bee Forum, but thought I would ask...
prairiemoon2 z6 MA
Any Block Island gardeners here?
I've never seen any postings from anyone gardening...
bill_ri_z6b
NH Spring Plant Swap
NH Plant Swap on Sunday June 5th is only 4 weeks away...
annie_nh
What happened to the SEARCH button?
I know I have another birthday coming and my eyes are...
moliep
UMass Extension Landscape Message March 27, 2015
UMass Extension Landscape Message #2 - 2015 The Landscape...
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
Sponsored Products
Luceplan | Orchestra D27/30v Ceiling/Wall Light
$351.00 | YLighting
Organized Living freedomRail White Double Hang 'Big-O-Box' Cubby
Overstock.com
Primo Ceramic Turkey Setter - 337
$32.00 | Hayneedle
Isola Pillowcase
$100.00 | FRONTGATE
Magic Garden Bookshelf
Classic Hostess
Empress Leather Sofa in White
$699.00 | LexMod
AICO Furniture - 7-pc Monte Carlo II Rectangular Dining Table Set...
Great Furniture Deal
Drippy Magnetic Memo Board
| Dot & Bo
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™