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PLUMBAGO auriculata

Image of Plumbago auriculata

Jessie Keith

Family

Plumbaginaceae

Botanical Name

PLUMBAGO auriculata

Plant Common Name

Cape Leadwort

General Description

Grown for its tubular periwinkle-blue flowers, cape leadwort is an evergreen shrub to woody vine that originates from South Africa. It has bright green, oval leaves that line loose, trailing stems. It blooms year round, except in coldest winters, bearing many five-petaled tubular blue blooms. These are attractive to butterflies and require no deadheading. White cultivars are also available.

Cape leadwort thrives in full to partial sun and prefers light, sandy soils with good drainage. It can be pruned into a compact mounded shrub but has the most attractive look if permitted to freely sprawl, vine and trail. Full sun and off-season branch pruning enhances flower production.

In tropical to subtropical regions this shrub can be planted in shrub borders or maintained as a hedge for screening. In temperate regions it may be container grown indoors or outdoors or planted as a tender annual in mixed borders, containers or large hanging baskets.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    3'-10' / 0.9m - 3.0m

  • Width

    3'-10' / 0.9m - 3.0m

  • 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

    Light Blue, Sky Blue

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Olive

  • Bark Color

    Sandy 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