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Leopard's bane (Doronicum)

   Leopard's bane (Doronicum), fam. Asteraceae.
   An ornamental plant. One of the numerous species with inflorescences constructed like sunflower or daisy, which is recognized by the earliest blooming season, from April. The rest of similar flowers (False Sunflower, Coneflower and Sunflower) bloom much later, in late May-July.
   This plant cannot bear whole shade. To hide the Leopard's bane in summer, when it loses its decorative qualities, it is recommended to grow it together with mighty neighbors, like Ferns or Plantain Lilies. If there is drought in spring, watering is desirable, that would extend the blooming season. Leopard's bane can grow at the same place for about 5 years. It is usually propagated vegetatively. The seeds collected in summer can be planted in May of the next year, then the plants will bloom for the first time after one more year.
   The overground part of Leopard's bane is toxic. The infusion from the inflorescences is sometimes used against neuralgia; however, this treatment is not to be recommended. Most probably, it will not address the cause of the disease, but there is a danger of overdose.

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