Rodgersia pinnata Franch., Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat. Ser. 2, 10. 176. 1888.
* Astilbe pinnata (Franch.) Franch., Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat. Ser. 2, 10. 176. 1888.
* USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. 5256
R. pinnata, Franchet (tetraploid 2n=60) has the most diverse leaf form of any of the Rodgersia and this leads to mis-identification and mis-labelling in horticulture. Rarely are the leaflets arranged in true pinnate form with evenly spaced leaflets.They vary from pseudo-pinnate, when the leaflets can be bunched 2 to 5 at the petiole and 3 at the apex with varying numbers of pairs of leaflets between with varying lengths of rachis, to plants where the rachis is so compressed as to need very close inspection to ascertain that it is not palmate. The size of the individual obovate-lanceolate leaflets ranges from 20mm long x 10mm wide to double those measurements depending on variety and growing conditions. The height of the leaves may exceed one metre and that of the inflorescence, one and a half metres. The flowers can be white, palest pink to deep claret colour and the subsequent seeds heads range from green through to deep mahogany. There are many cultivars, R.pinnata is very variable in all its aspects and readily hybridises with both R.podophylla and R.aesculifolia. As with R.sambucifolia , the two varieties established by Pan are distinguished by microscopic features.
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