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Rotheca myricoides

Rotheca myricoides
blue butterfly
Rotheca myricoides

Synonym(s) Clerodendrum ugandense
Common name blue butterfly
Family lamiaceae
Life cycle tender shrub (Z9-11)
Flowers blue
Size 10'
Light part shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil, not too dry

Evergreen shrub from east Africa that will grow quite tall but can be kept pruned to a more manageable size. Leaves are rounded; flower clusters are borne at the ends of branches, consisting of individual 1-inch flowers. The flowers are two-toned, with three pale blue lobes and one violet blue lobe; the overall shape gives rise to their common name. Flowers keep on coming throughout the summer and fall. Ours was severely damaged by a series of mild overnight freezes in December, and then by the whopper of a freeze in January – so I was happy to spot growth returning from the base in late February. Our plant proceeded to grow fast from that point, reaching greater heights than the previous year (as shown in photo below). I'm happy to report it likewise survived the even more severe freeze of February 2021, once again returning from the base even though I had made no efforts to protect the plant.

blue butterfly
Frost damage in December 2017
Rotheca myricoides
New growth from the base, early March
blue butterfly
Reaching nearly six feet tall in early July
Rotheca myricoides
An exuberant mess of flowers in mid-September

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

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