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Pogostemon cablin

Pogostemon cablin

Common name patchouli
Family lamiaceae
Life cycle tender perennial (Z9-11)
Flowers purple-pink
Size 1-4'
Light part-full shade
Cultural notes prefers moist soil

Until a recent visit to a nearby nursery, I was entirely unaware that the patchouli fragrance, so familiar to those who've lived where hippies dwell, was the product of a single plant (I always assumed it was a melange of sorts). So out of curiosity, I bought the plant, which will now spend the summer in our garden. It is tropical, hailing from the Philippines and Indonesia, and will not survive even the mild Houston-area winters, but it's not particularly ornamental (the tiny flower clusters resemble those of other culinary herbs in the mint family that are not grown for their ornamental value) and I'm not likely to develop a patchouli perfume habit, so a season is just right. I hope to have some more photos of the plant as it grows and flowers in a border along the east side of our house, where it will receive morning sun and afternoon shade.


The plant never did flower that year, and was killed back by a series of overnight frosts in December. Perhaps it will make a comeback from its roots in spring, but I'm not holding my breath.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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