Gillenia trifoliata

Scientific name: Gillenia trifoliata

Synonym: Porteranthus trifoliatus


Common names: “Bowman’s root” “false ipecac” “Indian hippo” “Indian physic” “western dropwort”

Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial


Zone: 4-9

Light: Full sun – light shade, grows lower and trailing when in shade

Exposure: Sheltered

Soil: Fertile, less clay, acidic

Moisture: Moist well drained


Plant Size: H 24-36″ W 12-24″

Leaf and Stem shape:  Rhizomatous perennial with reddish stems bearing small, 3-lobed leaves

Flower: Open sprays of starry white flowers, with contrasting red calyces

Maintenance: Low / zero, cut back close to ground at end of year, no deadheading, may require staking in its first years if not in full sun

Landscape use: Flower borders, cut flowers, cottage garden, informal

Propagate: By seed and division

Pests & Disease: None in Victoria

Comments: Attracts butterflies, “there is nothing to not like about this plant”

~AGM winner


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