WSU Clark County Extension

PNW Plants Searchable, categorized images

Piggyback Plant

Scientific name: Tolmiea menziesii

Type:Groundcovers Herbaceus
Plant Requirements
Zone:6 to 9
Sun:Partial shade to full shade
Plant Characteristics
Height:1 ft
Width:1 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:April to May
Bloom Color:Red
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Piggyback Plant owes its name to its unique reproductive habit of growing plantlets from the petiole near the base of each leaf on top of the old leaves. Young plantlets drop off, fall in the soil and take root there. Alternative names include Youth on Age and Thousand Mothers.

This western native is classified as a perennial groundcover. Growing to a height of 1’ its range is from Southern Alaska to Central California from the foothills of the Cascades to the Coast. Leaves are palmately veined, with the blades up to 5” across and nearly as long. Each leaf has 5-7 lobes. There are irregular, rounded teeth along the leaf blade edges.

Spring blooms are maroon. Bloom can extend from April through August.

The tubular flowers are set on a loose raceme.

The Piggyback Plant can be found in both dry as well as moist sites, though the latter is preferred. This is a shade loving plant that simply won’t grow under conditions of full sun.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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