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Strobilanthes dyerianus

 
Strobilanthes dyerianus
First planted in June...
Persian shield
...nicely grown by October
Common name Persian shield
Family acanthaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z9-11)
Flowers violet
Size 3-4'
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil, not too dry

Shrubby perennial native to Myanmar with strikingly variegated leaves, metallic purple on dark green. Leaves are longer (4-7") than they are wide. In hot-summer areas, foliage color is best where the plant receives some shade. Although the plant is rated hardy to only zone 9 or even 10, a fellow gardener here in my zone 8b area reported that hers has survived for many years, so perhaps it is root hardy in colder zones. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Certainly, the top growth doesn't survive even mild freezes, as evidenced by the photo below, taken after three consecutive nights of temperatures dipping just below 32F. But I'm happy to report that one of my two plants survived the severe freeze of January 2018, returning from the roots in late March. The one that didn't had grown more weakly the previous season, and probably didn't establish a good enough root system to weather the cold.

Strobilanthes dyerianus
Frost-damaged plant

In our garden, this plant grows in the following areas: waterfall pondside, foundation border

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Last modified: April 08, 2018
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