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Darmera peltata (Indian rhubarb)
Makin, Julie

Darmera peltata

Darmera peltata (Torr. ex Benth.) Voss

Indian Rhubarb, Indian-rhubarb, Umbrella Plant

Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

Synonym(s): Peltiphyllum peltatum, Saxifraga peltata


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Fall/winter dormant, this plant shows no sign of life until mid- to late spring when rhizomes send up naked flowering stalks 3-5 ft. Large masses of nearly round, jaggedly toothed leaves on rough hairy stalks, and small pink flowers in large, round, branched clusters on stalks slightly taller than leaves follow. These branch into panicles of showy white to pink flowers which are followed by decorative, reddish, follicle-like seed pods. Just after flowering the stately leaves unfold. Fully expanded they stand 2-3 ft. on sturdy leaf stalks. Each leaf is nearly round with a toothed outline. In fall, leaves turn various shades of russet.

With its luxuriant foliage, this plant, usually anchored firmly among water-washed rocks, can give a verdant, almost tropical aspect to mountain streams. The peltate leafstalk (attaching near the middle of the blade) is an important identification feature and gave the genus its former name, Peltiphyllum.


From the Image Gallery

22 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


Native Distribution: Central Sierras, n. to Benton Co., OR
Native Habitat: Cold, rocky, mt., stream & river banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Wet, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Chlorosis is a problem in extremely basic soils. A popular landscape plant in Europe.


Description: Pieces of rhizome readily establish.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: OBL OBL
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Darmera peltata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Darmera peltata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Darmera peltata


Record Modified: 2023-02-06
Research By: TWC Staff

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