Last fall I purchased 2 Bowman’s Root (Porteranthus trifoliatus or Gillenia trifoliata, depending on who you ask), after seeing them massed beautifully outside Lurie Garden. Though it’s been less than a year, I’ve made up my mind: I definitely want more.
Bowman’s Root is a woodland plant whose native range extends from southern Ontario to Georgia, west to Arkansas. It has a mounded, bushy habit and grows 2-3′ tall.
In late spring to early summer it bears loose clusters of white flowers. The flowers are star-shaped but charmingly irregular, with longish petals that seem to be heading off each in their own direction.
I also like the mahogany stems and deep green foliage that stays clean through summer, then turns bronzy red.
This is an easy plant for part shade and medium moisture. This fall I’m going to plant another 2 or 3 Bowman’s Root so I can get more of a mass effect.
I’m already looking forward to their contribution to the garden next June.