Rochelle Greayer

Welcome to the

Pith   Vigor



The Shop

Back Issues of P+V Newspaper Are Available in the FREE Resource Library

the Book

dig into



Hey There! I’m Rochelle Greayer. I’m a garden designer on TV and IRL. I’m also an author and entrepreneur who thinks she can save the world by teaching everyone a little something about landscape design.






Shredded Umbrella Plant

In the list of “top plants that have been around for too long to not be popular,” Syneilesis aconitifolia or “shredded umbrella plant” should be near the top. I first came across Syneilesis in 1998 growing extremely well in Raleigh, North Carolina. I saw it again in 2000 in Pennsylvania growing like gang-busters. Now that I am in Boothbay, Maine (USDA zone 6a), what is one of the strongest growing plants? Syneilesis aconitifolia!
Syneilesis aconitifolia, shredded umbrella-plant

Any plant that can look awesome from Maine to North Carolina (does it grow further north and south?) certainly deserves more respect in our gardens. As a matter of fact, maybe we should rename this the “Rodney Dangerfield aster.” It certainly gets no respect and although it is hard to believe, it is in the aster family. Before your mind goes astray with images of big purple and pink flowers, stop right there. The flowers on this plant are an acquired taste. They are small and at 3′ high, they are quite nice. Nice as in “I really like you but let’s be friends.”

Syneilesis aconitifolia emerging

The beauty of the umbrella plant is its foliage. Emerging in the spring like wooly mushrooms or mayapples, the leaves eventually open up like umbrellas left in the crate with our Belgian shepherd puppy who chews anything. Once the leaves open fully in late spring into early summer, they are 2′ tall parasols of coolness. You can still stump people with this plant in your garden.

Syneilesis aconitifolia

We have one mass of umbrella plant in full sun and another in partial shade at CMBG. They do well in both locations but I think the farther south you go, the more shade these plants will enjoy. Once established, they can take dry shade so they are good to add under small trees.



Spread the love

Enjoy this Post?

access my resource library!

Join over 10,000 others and get access to my free library of e-books, worksheets, and resources for garden makers. Plus you also can download all the digital back issues of the PITH+VIGOR Newspaper. 

  1. Matt says:

    Syneilesis is one of my top 5 plants for the garden, I can’t get enough of them. It’s one of those plants which suffers from not being photogenic, yet once one sees a mature clump in my garden, their notebooks come out!

  2. James Peng says:

    I am trying to add Japanese Flowering Apricot or Prunus Mume to my garden. I am in Boston MA. I read your older article about the Japanese Flowering Apricot. I am wondering do you find any Japanese Flowing Apricot which can be planted in New England area? If yes, where I can get them?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join the PitH+VIGOR Newsletter Community