The Q&A Archives: what is this plant?

Question: I have a small bush like plant (@2ft x 2ft)that is flowering now. the flowers are bright yellow 2

Answer: Without seeing the plant it is difficult to positively identify it, but based upon your description and the fact that you found it growing under a pine tree (acidic soil, shady conditions), I think the plant is Yellow Waxbells.

Kirengeshoma palmata, also called Yellow Waxbells, is a shrub-like herbaceous perennial with beautiful foliage. It grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide at maturity. Its opposite leaves are large (6" to 7" across), maple-like in shape and a fresh, clear green. Clusters of waxy, 1 1/2" bell-shaped flowers dangle from stem tips in late summer or early fall, brightening the shade with fresh color as summer flowers wane. After blooming for several weeks, each flower lasting only a few days, the flowers evolve into unusual brownish-green capsules with 3 prominent long pointy horns.

K. palmata grows best in a rich, humusy, slightly acidic soil that is consistently moist but well-drained. These growing conditions are important to the successful culture of this plant. K. palmata needs partial to full shade and protection from strong winds. It has no serious pest or disease problems.

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