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NEMESIA fruticans

Image of Nemesia fruticans

John Rickard

Family

Scrophulariaceae

Botanical Name

NEMESIA fruticans

Plant Common Name

Nemesia

General Description

Delicate, airy clusters of tubular, two-lipped flowers cover this South African native when growing conditions are cool and favorable. Blue nemesia is a delightful tender perennial with an upright or slightly spreading habit. Where hardy, it grows as an evergreen subshrub, but where winters are cold it’s planted as a cool season bedding annual.

Small, narrow, lance-shaped leaves cover the bushy plants throughout the year. From late spring to autumn, it becomes covered with loose clusters of short, spurred, two-lipped flowers. Though commonly called “blue nemesia” its flowers are also naturally found in shades of pale pink and white. Each blossom has a white or yellow “bee” at the base of the lower lip. Deadheading is not necessary, but the plants will continue to bloom better if gently pinched back and fed intermittently.

Grow Nemesia in full to partial sun and fertile soil with even moisture and good drainage. Plants tend to grow better if the soil is slightly acid. These tender perennials are evergreen in frost-free zones but will be killed to the ground by light frosts. In subtropical areas, reduce watering in winter, and occasionally pinch back stems to encourage additional flowering. In northern regions, these beautiful plants can be enjoyed as long-blooming bedding annuals. Where summers are hot, they are best planted for spring or fall color. Nemesia is ideal for containers, garden edges and hanging baskets.

This species is synonymous with Nemesia foetens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

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

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Southern Africa, South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink, Light Blue, Lavender

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Green

  • 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

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes