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Tolmiea menziesii (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)
Tolmiea menziesii (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)

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Zone
Zones A3, 4-9, 14-17, 20-24
Partial SunNo Sun
Partial, Shade
Ample WaterRegular Water
Ample, Moderate

Tolmiea menziesii

Piggyback Plant
Saxifragaceae
Perennials

Native to Coast Ranges from Northern California northward to Alaska. Chief asset is abundant production of attractive, medium green, triangular to heart-shaped, shallowly lobed leaves of variable size (up to 5 in. long), carried at ends of leafstalks that also vary in length. Leaves are covered in 1/8-in.-long hairs. Tiny, rather inconspicuous reddish brown flowers top 1–2-ft.-high stems. ‘Taff’s Gold’ has foliage irregularly mottled with chartreuse and yellow; great for brightening shady corners.

Good groundcover for shade. Spreads indefinitely by producing new plantlets at junction of leafstalk and leaf blade; plantlets root in the soil. Handsome in hanging baskets.

Start new plants anytime of the year; take leaf with plantlet and insert in moist potting mix so that base of plantlet contacts soil. As a houseplant, needs cool temperatures, filtered light (bright light is fine if it’s indirect). Mealybugs and spidermites are occasional pests.

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