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JUSTICIA carnea

Image of Justicia carnea

James Burghardt

Family

Acanthaceae

Botanical Name

JUSTICIA carnea

Plant Common Name

Brazilian Plume

General Description

Brazilian plume is an old favorite for reliable blooming and unusual character. This evergreen shrub is native to South America and very cold sensitive. The striking blooms give the plant its common name. They are dense spikes of pointed, bright pink tinted bracts (modified leaves) which form a plume-like group atop the branches. The true flowers are rosy to lavender, tubular and borne between the bracts. Brazilian plume flower all year in warm climates and in the summer and fall in cooler locations. Upright, four-angled branches bear large, oval leaves which are covered with soft hairs and are a lovely medium green. The plants can be messy, they drop leaves and flowers regularly.

Install Brazilian plume in locations with full sun to part shade and soil with good drainage. Extremes in water – wet or dry and very cool temperatures will cause loss of leaves. Intolerant of even a light frost, where not hardy grow in containers, greenhouse or as annuals. Prune by heading back by hand as they respond poorly to shearing. Brazilian plume is best used in groups and masses and is beautiful in beds, as accent and in borders.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    11 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Width

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Rose

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Green, 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

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No