Jeffersonia Plant genus members are hardy perennials that are native to woodlands.
They bear twin lobed leaves and cup shaped flowers of white or purple that come into bloom in the spring.
Some of the common names for Jeffersonia include Rheumatism root, Twinleaf, and Manchuria.
Photographs: Jeffersonia diphylla by Jason Sturner 72, CC; and Twinleaf by Bville.
Common Names: Twinleaf, Manchuria, Rheumatism root.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 4 to 12 inches (10 to 30 cm).
Native: Northern America. Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 8.
Flowers: Spring. Short-lived.
Flower Details: White, purple. Cup-shaped. Eight petals.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Twin-lobed.
Sow Outside: Cover seed. Late summer or the start of autumn from fresh seed. Seeds should first be sown into flats. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist and to check if seedlings have emerged. After two years of growth, transplant the seedlings to their final location in the autumn. Spacing 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm).
Sow Inside: No
Requirements and care: Full or partial shade. Peaty soil, rich soil, moist soil. No lime. Compost mulch. Regular watering during dry periods. Propagate: by dividing in the spring in cooler areas or the autumn in warmer areas.
Miscellaneous: Used by native Americans in many of their medicines including inflammation and urinary issues. Used in traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of fevers.
It is best to grow Twinleaf, Rheumatism root and other Jeffersonia members outdoors. They should be sown using fresh seed at the beginning of autumn into flats containing rich, peaty soils. Once sown lightly cover the Jeffersonia seed with soil, then place the flat in a shady part of the garden, and keep covered in glass. It can take two years to germinate the seeds so be patient; during this long germination period be sure to keep the soil moist. Once seedlings of Rheumatism root emerge, they should be planted about 15 to 20 cm apart into a shaded part of the garden. It is important that the soil is not limy, but a rich and peaty wood soil.
It is best to mulch the plant in order to keep roots cool, Jeffersonia will not grow successfully in hot areas. if you require more plants then they can be divided in the spring or autumn once established.