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JUSTICIA aurea

Image of Justicia aurea

Felder Rushing

Family

Acanthaceae

Botanical Name

JUSTICIA aurea

Plant Common Name

Yellow Jacobinia

Special Notice

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

General Description

Large dark green leaves that are both glossy and fuzzy makes a lovely foil for the upright, bottlebrush-like yellow flower spikes outside from autumn to early spring. An upright tender shrub that can become lanky in low light or crowded planting beds, it acts as a herbaceous perennial when nipped by frosts in mild winter areas and blooms in summer and autumn. It is native to Central America, including Mexico.

The upright, four-sided stems make this plant look handsome, but it always looks better when nestled around fuller tropical plants. Its leaves are large rounded ovals with rippled veins and a semi-glossy and sandpapery texture. In the shorter daylengths of autumn, winter and early spring, the stem tips bear an upright spike of light green bracts (modified leaves). From these bracts appear the thin, tubular lemony yellow blossoms with two thin lips, attracting butterflies.

Grow yellow jacobinia in bright light under tropical trees or in partial dappled shade in a moist, well-draining soil rich in organic matter for best growth. After flowering, the stems can be pruned back severely so that the shrub rejuvenates in a dense form in the tropical rainy season. Do not prune stems past midsummer as it will deter flowering that autumn. Use it in the rear of the mixed tropical shade border.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade

  • Height

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Width

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, 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

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Lemon Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • 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

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No