Bowman’s root

Bowman’s root (Porteranthus trifoliatus) as a good example of a plant providing interest in each season.

Bowman’s root is a native plant to eastern North America from Ontario south to Georgia, east of the Mississippi River. Specimens can grow up to 4 ft. tall with a spread of 3 ft. Plants grow best in full-sun to partial sun.

The species puts on a great display of showy, 5-petaled star-like flowers in spring-to-early summer. Flowers fade as the heat of summer comes, leaving beautiful red-colored calyces through late summer into fall. As the cooler weather of fall approaches, the leaves of P. trifoliatus begin to take on spectacular yellow-golden tones set against dark red-to-brown stems. Over winter textural interest is maintained by the upright, wire-like brown stems and remnants of leaves.

Botanical Name Porteranthus trifoliatus
Common Name Bowman’s root
Family Rosaceae
USDA Zone 4 thru 8
Light Requirement Full Sun to Part Shade
Season(s) of interest Summer, Fall, Winter
Height and Spread
2-4ft x 1.5-3ft (60-120cm x 45-90cm)
Flower Color White
Attracts Wildlife
Additional Information
Native to US Midwest. Also known as Gillenia trifoliata.
Location in Lurie Garden
East Dark Plate, Southwest Dark Plate