T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Plectranthus saccatus (Stoep Jacaranda, Spurflower)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae  (Sage, Mint family) 
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Ocimeae
Genus: Plectranthus
Species: P. saccatus
Scientific name: Plectranthus saccatus
Common name: Stoep Jacaranda. (no relation to the jacaranda)

Plectranthus saccatus is a shrub found naturally in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal growing in forests where it grows in semi-shade and in rocky areas. This is one of the more popular and well known of the Plectranthus or spurflowers. The genus name Plectranthus means "spur flower" after the spurred corolla tube which is a characteristic of the species. The species name saccatus means "bag-like" and refers to the shape of the flower tube. 
This shrub reaches a height of about 1.2m with a spread of 2 m. The branches are tinged with purple and have soft hairs. The leaves are bright green, have large teeth along the margin and are dotted with transparent gland dots beneath.  The flowers with a two-lipped corolla may have some purple markings and are borne on one side of the stem.  Flowering occurs late summer to winter and the colour of the flowers ranges from blue to lilac to white. They are borne on one side of the stem. 
There are a number of different varieties and cultivars of this plant. 

Photographed at Tupare Gardens   http://www.trc.govt.nz/tupare-home/