Sunday, January 04, 2009
Synonyms: Plumbago coccinea, P. rosea
This is a beautiful red version of Plumbago photographed last year in the Conservatory at Wave Hill Gardens in the Bronx.
It took me a little by surprise, as I hadn’t seen the red flowered form before. Blue Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) is a favorite flower of mine. We northern gardeners don’t have the rambling plantings of it like the tropical people do. So it is a little more special and less common to me. Scarlet Plumbago hardy down to 10 degrees F (USDA Zone 8a) and blooms this time of year. I will have to try growing some in a container. The Blue or Cape Plumbago is a native of South Africa where the red flower species is native to India and Sri Lanka. There are about 15 to 20 total species in the genus.
Plumbago has several medicinal uses as seen on this page. Please be careful as the page states “Caution: Use this carefully. High doses are dangerous and can cause death” and “Taken in large doses, this herb can cause paralysis leading ultimately to death.” Sometimes a little of something is better than a lot of it.
Too bad this little plant isn’t in flower as the color is a brilliant red. Graptopetalum (Graptopetalum amethystinum) is a rare plant from the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains of central Mexico. It is commonly know as Lavender Pebbles or Jewel leafed plant. They are related to the Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) and Kalanchoe.
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Today’s Flowers home page. It starts after 7pm GMT.