ORNAMENTAL PLANTS OF HORTICULTURE VALUE
Selection of perennials
About 60 species mainly in the mountains of Europe, Asia and North
America. 34 species in the FSU, mainly in the Caucasus, also in Siberia,
Central Asia and the Far East. The genus was named after Hercules
(Heracles), the most famous Greek mythological hero, who was a man of
great physical power. Most species are very tall perennials or biennials.
Many have sap, that is extremely irritant and harm.
H. ponticum (Lipsky) Schischk. ex Grossh.
Caucasus (the Greater Caucasus Range). In clearings and meadows in
the alpine and subalpine zones.
Plant up to 200 cm. Stem cylindrical, fluted. Leaves large,
long-petiolate, simple, 3-lobed up to the middle. Blades dark green,
glabrous. Umbels 20-40 rayed, to 20-50 cm across, with small but
numerous flowers, white or pale pink. Can overwinter with rosette
leaves in a mild climate, in cold areas suffers without snow cover. Fl -
mid summer. Fr - early autumn. P - by seed and by division, also
self-sown. Sap harmless, unlike in some other species. Good for the
wild garden when group planted. Z 6 (5). New.
The following are also of interest: H. aconitifolium
Woronow, western Caucasus. Plant reaches 100 cm and more, its large
leaves do not contain irritant sap. New. H. mantegazzianum
Somm. et Lev., western Caucasus. Plant reaches 200-300 (350) cm. Both
species good for group planting as bold foliage plants, developing
herbaceous jungle. The latter species may cause phytodermatitis, and
should be used with caution.