Monday, May 17, 2010

Plumbago species

I am very fascinated with blue flowers. However, in the tropics blues are not common  unlike in the semi-temperate or temperate climates. I don't really know the reasons why this is so. Taxonomists and maybe ecologists and geneticists might have the answers to this, but the physiologists don't. Those blues in Teza's garden are so wonderful, i would love to have them if only it is possible. Also there are blues in Rothchild's Orchid's site.  The blue iris lilly, the forget-me-not, and the blue grape hyacinth are also very beautiful.

We at least have the blue Plumbago auriculata. It is said to have originated from South Africa but proliferated also in California and Florida being adapted to subtropical climates. It is very beautiful in hedges or in  porch or patio containers; as shown here (, since the plant  spills over the sides  with lots of pretty blue flowers. Other colors include white, purple, red, or pink, but i haven't seen pink and white in the country. The hedge i posted here doesn't look floriferous because it is very hot this summer that most plants suffer from dieback. At least there are a few umbels although they are small in the photo.

The red Plumbago is Plumbago indica synonymous with  Plumbago rosea. It originated from India and now widely distributed in Southeast Asia. Among a lot of herbal and medicinal uses, it is said to be abortifacient. Beware pregnant gardeners! When used in small dosages it has lots of medicinal uses, but in large proportions can be lethal. Both the blue and the red Plumbago are poisonous in higher proportions. They have very diffirent morphological characteristics though. I wonder why they are placed in the same genus.

Plumbago auriculata

Plumbago indica

I linked this also to Todays Flowers:


  1. Very informative post ... I certainly learned something new.

    While the blue and the white plumago are very familiar shrubs here ... I had no idea there was a red, pink and purple. I just love the red ... but I'm now keen to find out what the purple looks like!

  2. Yes hi Bernie, you are fast in opening, so i am fast to reply too, hehe. Yes the red is really beautiful in the post, but the habit of the plant is not very nice as in the last photo.

  3. So interesting and a wonderful post. Your flower shots are marvelous. Thanks for sharing them.

  4. I always just see the blue kind of seeing the pink one made me wish I could see it, too.

    My Today's Flower is up HERE. Happy Monday!

  5. Good Morning Andrea

    I do like the blue colour in the plumbago. Normally you see white or blue for sale here in the UK as a houseplant. I don't think they really like being restrained in the house as their growth is normally on a hoop and it gets very straggly - a bit like the growth habit in your last photo.

    I never knew there was a red one too - it looks like a lovely flower too.

    I don't grow it as its too untidy for me - best outdoors

  6. I have only seen the blue plumbago. My plumbago just died from old age. Wow, it is so nice to see other colours too. I like the striking pink ones here.

  7. Plumbago is the blue plant of choice in Florida gardens. I also like Clerodendron ugandense ('Blue Butterfly'), blue spiderwort, and blue agapanthus for a touch of true blue in our hot gardens.

  8. I love the blue plumbago in my gardens, along with the other blue bloomers that I have. I have never seen or even heard of the red one. Just wonderful.

    This was a great post.


  9. & I thought blue flowers were everywhere - so interesting.
    Thanks for sharing yours! They are very pretty.

  10. I also just bought a Plumbago auriculata for my garden. Love that true sky-blue, actually I love all the blues in the garden!

  11. Wow..gorgeous Andrea..super beautiful series!! Love them too!

  12. Denise - hi gud morning. Thanks for the appreciation.

    ShutterhappyJenn - actually this is a red, i have not seen the pink also. thanks for dropping by.

    Rosie - yes the red is straggly, but the blue is good during the dry season, only this one was too much exposed to the harsh heat. I did not know they can withstand the UK winter too. amazing plant!

    Autumn Belle - little cuttings must be planted from the old plant before they get old, hehe. That is also the process of maintaining the life of the species naturally, in situ, as they say!

    Floridagirl - Florida's climate is much kinder than ours here, so more blue species can thrive there. thanks for the visit.

  13. aloha andrea,

    i loved your post and this is the first i've seen the red version of the plumbago, thanks for sharing this.

    i'm a real fan of plumbagos also :)

  14. FlowerLady - they are lovely aren't they? thanks for your visit.

    Lily Hydrangea - that was what i thought also, but later realized not really true. Please drop by again in the future. thanks.

    Ami - you don't like the red one? They can garnish a flower arrangement as they have elongated spikes or flower branch.

    Kiki - thank you for visiting again even if i missed going there in yours, hehe. I will do tonight promise.

  15. Noel - yes there are, Hawaii is a good haven for breeding, maybe there are nicer version of the plants there, also more colors. thanks for the visit.

  16. Gorgeous! the flowers are aplenty here.

  17. I love the blue too, but what I love most is the shape of the flower head in the second photo.

  18. Good info here Andrea! Plumbago rosea has a really sweet and warm colours unlike the other cool one that's in white and blue I have seen here.

  19. I was just reading a post on Elephant's Eye in Africa where she talked of plumbago. Imagine that! She said the blues were most common. They are all pretty but not hardy here. I had no idea there was a pink one.

    Thanks for letting me know about the blog acting up. I changed the number of posts showing. I hope that helps.

  20. I just yesterday took a picture of my neighbor's blue plumbago. I hope my pictures are as nice as yours. I have never seen plumbago in any color but blue and I love that pink/salmon color. Wish it was available here!

  21. Jama - thanks for dropping by i've visited your nice site also.

    Wendy - yes actually i put it there also for the different form of the umbel. thank you.

    Stephanie - Hi, yes the P. rosea is a bit nicer if not for the straggly habit of its vegetative parts.

    Tina - thank you, i will visit Elephant's Eye post too.

    Kathy - whatever the photo turns out to be, the photo in our mind's eye will always be lovely in person. thanks for dropping by!

  22. Andrea..
    thank you for your visit..
    In response to your comments:
    May i copy that verse on top? thank you....
    Of course you can:)
    "I love the beauty of that Clematis columbiana, buy i envy most the finished collages, as until now making it is still a dream!"
    I use Picasa software for editing and storing my pictures.
    With Picasa I am able to create my collages. You can do the same..
    Picasa software is available at no charge from Google.
    Try it..
    - Cheers Gisela.

  23. Hi maam. May i just ask if you have available Plumbago rosea?

  24. Hi Renzee, you seem not to have seen my reply, and i can't put a message in your G+ site. So i returned here to say, yes i have many of this plant. You can contact me directly thru FB private messaging. thanks.


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