Just the best variety of Ligularia, no question, and highly desirable. So say we. Britt-Marie Crawford is a statuesque plant forming a large clump of rounded purplish black leaves with purple reverses, having a glossy, almost leathery look to them.  Ragged bright yellow flowers contrast nicely in the summer months. Looks great situated beside a pond. Sun or semi-shade. Moist soil. 3 ft. 2 litre pot.

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There are a number of dark-leaved forms of Ligularia Dentata on the market, but none are really as good as Britt Marie Crawford which retains much of the blackish purple pigmentation to the leaves as spring gives way to summer, though, depending on light conditions, the upper side of the leaves may take on a dark green hue with the reverses remaining purple.

Ligularia species are largely natives of Asian countries and they gow in wetlands, woodlands and on riverbanks, so somewhere nice and moist, and preferably shady, will suit them just fine. Many years ago Rob fell in love with dark leaved ligularia and insisted on growing it in a sunny open spot on flinty Cambridgeshire chalk (which was all he had to offer it). Amazingly his plant survived and performed remarkably well in the circumstances, though there was quite a bit of watering done (it almost never rains on the Cambridgeshire / Hertfordshire border).

The story behind the varietal name is ultimately a rather sad one. Britt-Marie Crawford was a Scottish gardener who came across this plant as a sport in her own Fife garden. Following her death, her husband James took it on himself to bring to market the cultivar his wife had discovered and named it in her honour.

Ligularia Britt-Marie Crawford is a hardy perennial plant with large round purple black leaves and yellow flowers in summer suitable for sun or semi-shade.

Photo courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries.

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