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BARLERIA oenotheroides

Image of Barleria oenotheroides

James H. Schutte

Family

Acanthaceae

Botanical Name

BARLERIA oenotheroides

Plant Common Name

Golden Barleria, Primrose Barleria

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

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.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Fall, Late Fall, Early Winter, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow, Lemon Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Foundation, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No