Gillenia trifoliata

bowman's root

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Bowman's root is a great perennial for softening coarser plants. Its stems are thin but sturdy, rising to about 3 feet, where they hold a spray of glittering, small white blooms beginning in midsummer. The contrast between the deep red-hued stems and the dainty blossoms is pleasing and gives an overall effect similar to baby's breath. The small, delicate foliage adds to the airiness of the plant. Bowman's root is long lived and flowers for about a month. It looks great with such sun-loving perennials as Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light', Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low' and Aster lateriflorus 'Prince'.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 30 ft. 0 in. (9.14 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: regular summer watering

Wildlife Associations: bees

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: gold, silver, burgundy

Great Color Partners: white, dark green

Culture Notes
Plant this eastern North American native in full to light or open shade, in well-drained, fertile soil. It tolerates heavy soils and appreciates regular summer watering. Cut it back to the ground in autumn.