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PLUMBAGO auriculata (ROYAL CAPE®)

Image of Plumbago auriculata 'Monott' (ROYAL CAPE®, CAPE® SERIES) PP7822

James Burghardt

Family

Plumbaginaceae

Botanical Name

PLUMBAGO auriculata 'Monott'( ROYAL CAPE®, CAPE® SERIES) PP7822

Plant Common Name

Cape Leadwort, Royal Cape® Plumbago

General Description

Attractive, long-blooming, deep flowers and a compact habit are the hallmarks of Royal Cape cape leadwort or Plumbago auriculata ‘Monott’ from Monrovia Nurseries. It is an evergreen shrub to woody vine that is native to South Africa and has green, oval to spatula-shaped leaves with small ear-like (auricle = ear-shaped appendage) projections at the base. The leaves are alternate on thin, gracefully arching stems. Cape leadwort blooms year round, except in coldest winters, bearing many five-petaled, tubular, royal blue blooms in round clusters at the ends of the branches. The flower bases and seed capsules are covered with sticky, gland tipped hairs and often hitch a ride with humans or pets. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and do not require deadheading.

Cape leadwort thrives in full to partial sun and prefers light, sandy, slightly acidic soils with good drainage. It can be pruned into a compact mounded shrub or best allowed to freely sprawl, vine and trail. However, harsh pruning shortens the plant’s lifespan and contributes to brown, stick-like growth and looks best when the branches have enough room to exhibit their cascading nature.

Plumbago is a lovely shrub that is freeze sensitive and may be damaged by a few degrees of frost. Grow it in cooler regions in containers which can be protected from cold or outdoors as a tender perennial in mixed borders. In warmer regions use it in groups for foundation plantings, cascading over walls, embankments and slopes, in hedges and as a filler plant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    4'-8' / 1.2m - 2.4m

  • Width

    4'-8' / 1.2m - 2.4m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Blue, Sky Blue

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Olive

  • Bark Color

    Yellow Green, Brown

  • 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

    Bedding Plant, Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hanging Basket, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes