Plant DetailShow Menu

Tolmiea menziesii

Phonetic Spelling
TOL-mee-uh men-ZEE-see-eye
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Piggyback Plant is a native evergreen perennial herb found on the coast of western North America. It grows as a ground cover in moist forests, wetlands and along streams to 1 foot tall. The flowers appear in loose racemes in spring with small tubular purplish-brown flowers that attract bees and butterflies. The maple leaf-shaped leaves form a dense ground cover and the mature leaves form plantlets at the base where the stem meets the leaf. These fall to the ground and root. The plant can also spread by rhizomes and seeds.

Use this plant as a ground cover in a shady moist to wet area or as a house plant in a hanging pot. It needs moist fertile soil and high humidity.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Taff's Gold
    Leaves variegated with gold
  • 'Variegata'
    Creamy yellow mottling
'Taff's Gold, 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#riparian#hanging baskets#groundcover#humidity tolerant#wet soils tolerant#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#woodland garden#dense growth
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Taff's Gold
    Leaves variegated with gold
  • 'Variegata'
    Creamy yellow mottling
'Taff's Gold, 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#riparian#hanging baskets#groundcover#humidity tolerant#wet soils tolerant#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#woodland garden#dense growth
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tolmiea
    Species:
    menziesii
    Family:
    Saxifragaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Western coastal North America
    Distribution:
    AK , CA , OR , WA Canada: BC
    Wildlife Value:
    Butterflies and bees are attracted to the flowers
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Prostrate
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The capsule contains spiny fruits
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The small flowers occur in a loose raceme. Individual flowers are tubular with reddish-brown to chocolate petals and yellow anthers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Palmatifid
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Hairy leaves are similar to maple leaves in shape with 5-7 lobes and up to 4 inches wide. Plantlets form at the base where the stem meets the leaf.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Hairy green stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Allergic reactions; redness, itching, blisters; low risk.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Stems