Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Plant That Sounds Like A Disease

Every time I identify this plant,  people say "That sounds like a disease!".  The plant is Plumbago auriculata.  It comes from South Africa(Again- all the cool plants do!) and has beautiful powder blue flowers. It also comes in white. But WHO WANTS THAT WHEN YOU CAN HAVE BLUE?  Research shows that Auriculata means "Ears or ear shaped appendages". Uh, ok.  And that helps how?  Maybe it means what the flowers look like in bud.

 It is kind of an obnoxious grower and I haven't decided if I should plant it in my own garden. These photos were taken at one of my jobs.  The color was so beautiful that I had to stop and photograph.
 It grows in a pile about 4-5  feet tall and wide.  But it will also sort of climb up other plants and one day you'll see it up there 10 feet tall.  The thing I don't like about it is that the spent flowers are sticky.  When you're working around it, they'll stick to you and you'll end up having them all over your clothes. Because it comes from a Mediterranean climate(like ours), it does well here but is susceptible to frost.  I have seen them get frost burned but never killed. It is a tough plant.  

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