Thursday, December 04, 2008

Blue Cape Plumbago

Blue Cape Plumbago
Plumbago auriculata 'Imperial Blue'
(plum-BAY-go) (aw-rik-yoo-LAY-tuh)
Synonym: Cape Leadwort

A couple of weeks ago False Plumbago was featured on this site. Today it is the real deal. Plumbago is one of the most beautiful flowering shrubs in my mind. Its perfect blue color, rambling habit and ease of cultivation make it a joy to have. In Connecticut we can’t grow it outdoors year round but you can cut it back (hard) and bring it in the house for the winter. When it gets back outside in the spring it grows and flowers quite freely.

There are a couple of cultivars available for this South African native including a white flowered type (P. auriculata var. alba) and the darker blue ‘Royal Cape’. There is also some variation in the blue flowers of the species. You should probably try and buy those in flower to get the color you like.

Right now I am totally snowed under (luckily not literally) with winterizing everything. I underestimated the amount of work it is to put the 14 gardens to bed for the winter. Part of that was denial that season was over. There is also a ton of paperwork to be done. When you add those two together and all the research I have been putting into deciding what camera to buy it makes for a lot to do. I am not complaining because in a couple of weeks there won’t be much to do. After all this time you would think I would be used to the seasonal nature of the business it still never fails to throw me for a loop.


EGeorge said...

There is a perennial plumbago which will grow outdoors in Connecticut and last through the Winter and return in the Spring season. I have found this perennial variety in a plant nursery/garden center in Mt Kisco, NY; I am not sure whether this is what you refer to as a false plumbago,

In any event, I agree that this is a pretty blue flowering plant and have enjoyed varieties from the Plumeria People which has an online catalogue,

Elaine George
Silk Tree Gardens
Bridgeport, CT

joey said...

It's so hard to find 'true blue' plants for the garden and why I love plumbago. Lovely photo, Chris.

Anonymous said...

I Found this plantlocally in Northern Mass last year and it's stunning. I cut it back & brought it in the house for the winter to have fopr 2009 season but didn't survive. Looking for plants again but they are tropical & hard to find. Jim