James H. Schutte
Plant Common Name
Golden Barleria, Primrose Barleria
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
Pleasantly rounded in habit with deep green foliage, primrose barleria bears upright green spikes that have delicate light yellow blossoms from fall to spring. This tender tropical shrub is native from southern Mexico to Colombia. It is the only Barleria native to the New World and has commonly been mistakenly labeled in the nursery trade as Barleria micans, which is from Africa.
The many upright branches on this shrub creates a rounded clump. Leaves are slightly hairy or fuzzy and are long pointed ovals of deep green. Flowering intermittently, but most heavily in autumn and winter, branch tips carry an upright, candle-like row of green prickly bracts, from which the yellow blossoms appear. Each flower is tubular and flares open with four upright lobes and one lower lip, attracting hummingbirds or butterflies.
Grow primrose barleria in full to partial sun in a fertile, moist, well-draining soil that is not alkaline. Yellow-green foliage is a sign of nutrient deficiencies in sandy or alkaline soils. After a flush of flowers wane, the spent green spires can be pruned away so that side flowering shoots may better grow. If this shrub gets too tall, it responds well to heavy pruning when temperatures are warm and rainfall ample. Protect from drought and drying winds; it looks much healthier when humidity is high. It is a lovely accent shrub for the tropical mixed border or as a foundation shrub intermingling with vivid foliage plants. In areas with frosty mild winters it's a herbaceous perennial that regrows with the return of spring's warmth.
AHS Heat Zone
12 - 8
USDA Hardiness Zone
9 - 15
H1, H2, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m
3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m
Early Spring, Fall, Late Fall, Early Winter, Winter, Late Winter
Mexico, Central America
Foundation, Mixed Border, Tropical
Sharp or Has Thorns