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Plumbago auriculata

 
Plumbago auriculata
plumbago
Climbing into a salvia 'Hot Lips'

Synonym(s) Plumbago capensis
Common name plumbago
Family plumbaginaceae
Life cycle tender shrub (Z8-11)
Flowers soft blue (summer-fall)
Size 24-36"
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes well-drained garden soil, not too dry; heat-tolerant

Clusters of five-petaled phlox-like flowers on a woody perennial/shrub native to South Africa. The specimen in the photo below was just planted, in mid-spring. It continued to bloom off and on through its first summer, and was looking rather nice by summer's end (photo at top), but still with decidedly the appearance of a herbaceous perennial. Plumbago seems to inhabit the annual shelves at local nurseries, so I kept my fingers crossed that it would persist in our garden – and it did, although it died back to the ground after winter freezing weather. In its next season, it got off to a slow start, but by late summer it had climbed up into a neighboring shrubby salvia, now able to display its flowers closer to eye level. Eventually, I'll need to decide if and how to prune our plant, to train it up a nearby fence, or just let it sprawl into and across anything it encounters.

Plumbago auriculata
Small plant, just after making the transition from its nursery pot

In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: back fence border

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Last modified: September 02, 2018
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