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


Plumbago auriculata (Cape leadwort)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(unranked):        Angiosperms
(unranked):        Eudicots
(unranked):        Core eudicots
Order:        Caryophyllales
Family:      Plumbaginaceae
Genus:       Plumbago
Species:     P. auriculata
Binomial name: Plumbago auriculata
Synonyms:   Plumbago capensis
Common names:  Cape leadwort,Plumbago, Blue plumbago, Cape plumbago, Leadwort, Skyflower

Plumbago auriculata is a resilient species of a flowering, evergreen shrub native to South Africa. In its natural habitat it will grow up to 3 m tall but is much smaller when cultivated as a garden plant.  Plumbago auriculata can now be found in gardens all over the world.
It has long, skinny stems with thin leaves that are a glossy green  and can be up to 5 cm long. They have minute gland dots.
The 5 petalled flowers are a light blue to blue. There are sticky, gland tipped hairs on the flower calyx. After flowering it develops barbed fruit capsules. When ripe the top of the capsule splits open and the seeds drop out. The plant spreads by seeds and suckers.
There is a white-flowered form Plumbago auriculata f. alba