Plant DetailShow Menu

Shredded Umbrella Plant Syneilesis aconitifolia

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Cacalia aconitifolia
  • Senecio aconitifolius
Description

The shredded umbrella plant is an herbaceous perennial that is grown for its attractive green foliage. In the spring, the leaves emerge on stiff stems like an unopened umbrella and are covered with silvery-white wooly hairs. As the leaves grow, they slowly open like a shredded umbrella and measure 10 inches in diameter. Small pinkish-white flowers appear in corymbs atop the brownish-purple stem from June to July. The plant may be difficult to obtain commercially, but its unique foliage will add much interest to a shade garden. This plant is a member of the Asteraceae or daisy family.

The shredded umbrella plant is native to China, Korea, Japan, and Far East Russia. It is found along roadsides and on slopes along forest margins. 

The species name, aconitifolia, is derived from Latin. Folia means "leaves," and Aconitum means "resembling monkshood."  The common name shredded umbrella plant is derived from its leaf's appearance. 

The shredded umbrella plant prefers full shade to part shade and well-drained humus-rich moist soils. It is drought and humidity tolerant once it is established. It spreads by creeping rhizomes and can form colonies over time. It is propagated by division. 

The stems are erect, smooth, and brownish-purple. The leaves appear grayish-green and peltate and deeply divided. The pinkish-white flowers emerge above the foliage. The fruit is a tiny achene that has white to reddish bristles and appears late summer to fall.

For foliage interest, the shredded umbrella plant is best suited for shade gardens, cottage gardens, woodlands, or naturalized settings. It can also be considered as a container plant, specimen, or mass planting. 

Seasons of Interest:

Blooms:  Late Spring/Early Summer      Foliage:  Late Spring/Early Summer/Summer

Pests, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: This plant has no serious insect or disease issues, but slugs and snails may be seen. 

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#white flowers#pink flowers#shade garden#low maintenance#interesting leaves#mass planting#dappled shade#herbaceous perennials#purple stems#summer interest#border planting#spring interest#naturalized area#summmer flowers#humidity tolerant#partial shade tolerant#perrenial#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#container plant#shade perennial#foliage#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#white flowers#pink flowers#shade garden#low maintenance#interesting leaves#mass planting#dappled shade#herbaceous perennials#purple stems#summer interest#border planting#spring interest#naturalized area#summmer flowers#humidity tolerant#partial shade tolerant#perrenial#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#container plant#shade perennial#foliage#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Syneilesis
    Species:
    aconitifolia
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The plant including the roots are used medicinally to relieve pain related to injuries by relaxing tendons.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Japan, Russia
    Distribution:
    Native: China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Japan, Khabarovsk--Russia, Korea, Manchuria, and Primorsky Krai or Primorye--Russia
    Play Value:
    Shade
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are cylinder-like achenes that measure 5-6 mm and are smooth and ribbed. A pappus of white to reddish bristles measures 8-10 mm long. Fruits are present from August to October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are pinkish-white florets that bloom from June to July. They are not particularly showy. Each floret measures 0.25 inches in diameter and is arranged in a corymb that sits atop the stem and rises above the foliage.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Palmatifid
    Peltate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    In the spring, the leaves emerge as small, erect, unopened umbrellas that has silvery white wooly hairs. The leaves are peltate (the petiole is attached to the lower surface of the leaf instead of the margin.) As the leaves mature, the wooly hairs disappear. Each leaf will begin to open up like an umbrella. The leaves are about 10 inches in diameter and are palmately lobed with 7 to 9 deeply divided linear or lanceolate segments. The margins are serrated. The leaf looks like a shredded umbrella which is its common name.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The stalks are 12 to 18 inches tall, stiff, simple, smooth, and brownish-purple.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Humidity