Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database


Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Tolmiea menziesii (Piggyback Plant, Youth-on-Age, Mother-of-Thousands)





 Plantae – Plants



 Tracheobionta – Vascular plants



 Spermatophyta – Seed plants



 Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants



 Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons









 Saxifragaceae – Saxifrage family



 Tolmiea Torr. & A. Gray – youth on age



 Tolmiea menziesii (Pursh) Torr. & A. Gray – youth on age

A fine perennial, Piggyback Plant is sometimes used as a houseplant.

The common names allude to the plant’s odd habit of growth: new, young leaves grow from the bases of the older leaves.

They, in turn, eventually wither away and the newer leaves continue the cycle.

Chocolate-colored, wand-like flowers bloom in the spring.

Piggyback Plant is native from Alaska to California, in USDA zones 7-10.

It requires moisture and some shade to thrive.

"I first met Mother-of-Thousands as a hanging houseplant in a Missouri florist's shop. Intrigued by the phenomenon of little plants escaping the mother plant and hanging like spirited toddlers on swings, I had to have one. Many years later hiking through the woods around the Little North Fork of the Santiam River I saw this same plant growing wild. As the British saying goes, I was 'gobsmacked.' This chance happening began my love affair with native plants."

Photo below left by Roger Griffith.

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