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 spring, summer, fall, winter
Height and Spread 2-4ft x 1.5-3ft (60-120cm x 45-90cm)
Flower Color White
Attracts Wildlife Rarely Browsed by Mammalian Herbivores
Additional Information Native to US Midwest. Also known as Gillenia trifoliata.
Location in Lurie Garden East Dark Plate, Southwest Dark Plate, Extrusion Plaza

Average Flowering Time