Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:

Tolmiea menziesii

Tolmiea menziesii (Pursh) Torr. & A. Gray

Youth On Age, Piggyback-plant, Youth-on-age, Thousand Mothers

Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

Synonym(s): Tiarella menziesii


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

This perennialís several wand-like flower stalks, up to 2 1/2 ft. tall, produce loose flower clusters. The modest flowers are an unusual greenish-purple to chocolate color and have bright-yellow anthers. The broad sepals contrast with the filamentous petals. Lobed and toothed leaves, reduced upward on the stem, are hairy.


From the Image Gallery

No images of this plant

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Purple , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , CA , OR , WA
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: S. AK, s. to Santa Cruz Co., CA, mostly to the w. of the mts.
Native Habitat: Moist woods; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: This unusual plant reproduces vegetatively by developing plantlets at the juncture of petiole and leaf blade. It is often sold as a house plant.


Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Minor skin irritation on contact. Symptoms include allergic reactions; redness, itching, blisters; low risk. Toxic Principle: Unidentified. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Easy to propagate from seed, leaf plantlets, or pieces of rootstock.
Seed Treatment: No treatment necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

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
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
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 Tolmiea menziesii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Tolmiea menziesii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Tolmiea menziesii


Record Modified: 2023-02-28
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back