Virtues: Leaves grow large—to 18 inches across. Tolerates damp or wet soils and full shade. An eye-catching, substantial foliage plant.
Common name: Umbrella leaf, umbrella plant, Indian rhubarb
Botanical name: Darmera peltata
Foliage: Leaves can be 18 inches in diameter. The leaf stem sits at the center of the leaf, creating a cup-like shape. Water often collects in the center of the leaf. Leaves look something like an umbrella that's gone inside-out in a wind gust, hence the common name umbrella leaf. Deep green in spring and summer; bronzy red in fall.
Flowers: Small pinkish white flowers are held in a cluster on tall stalks in early spring, before the foliage develops.
Habit: Rounded rhizomatous perennial, 3 to 5 feet tall and wide.
Season: Summer, for foliage.
Origin: Mountainsides and streambanks of tnorthern California and southwest Oregon.
Cultivation: Grow in part to full shade, in moist to wet soil. Tolerates full sun as long as soil stays consistently damp. Periods of dry soil will cause leaf scorch. Does not tolerate very hot temperatures and high humidity. Deer resistance is unknown. USDA Zones 5–8.