|Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Warrior'|
|Close-up showing the flower spikes|
|Another flower close-up|
I've shown this evergreen plant before in Foliage Follow-up posts but I think this is the first time I've shown it in bloom. Like the Prostanthera ovalifolia I presented last week, this isn't an in-your-face beauty. Its attractions are more subtle, requiring a closer look. The toothed leaves are quilted. Their tops are deep green but the undersides are a purplish burgundy. The stems and veins are the same purplish burgundy. In the fall, the plant produces graceful lavender flower spikes. If you brush the leaves, they produce a pleasant, soft herbal scent.
I brought this plant with me from my former garden as a cutting, which I rooted in water. It roots easily - in my old, shady garden, I've even grown it by simply sticking a piece in the soil. It spreads easily if the soil is sufficiently moist but a mature plant will tolerate some drought. Estimates of its size vary. In my old garden it got close to 3 feet tall and spread about 5 feet; however, in its current site, it's closer to 1 foot tall and 3 feet wide. It prefers partial shade - mine gets morning sun but shade during the hottest period of the day.
I'd been perplexed as to the name of the variety as I didn't have any record of my original purchase, 15 or more years ago. However, some diligent on-line research suggests that the variety is 'Zulu Warrior,' aka Lush Lavender Spur Flower. It's reportedly native to the Cape region of South Africa and widely used as a perennial groundcover in Europe, Australia and California. I think it's more attractive than Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender,' which is currently much more widely found in nurseries. The foliage can be damaged by insects but I found that product that treats both snails and worms effectively manages the problem. It's hardy in USDA zones 9-10 (Sunset zones 22-24 and H2) but it can be over-wintered indoors or cultivated as an indoor plant.
Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Warrior' is my contribution to Loree's collection of current favorites, which you can view here.
I'm growing this one in the house this year, so it won't bloom . I'm a terrible 'houseplant-mom' so the fact that it is alive and thriving is a miracle. Next summer , out it goes..!ReplyDelete
I think there's a good chance that you could get a spring-planted cutting to bloom outside in the fall in a container before your cold weather hits. The cuttings take off quickly if given sufficient shade and water.Delete
Caught a glimpse of this plant in one of your previous post and it's looking even better now, perhaps in its prime too!ReplyDelete
Any plant, like this one, that looks good in bloom and out earns my undying love.Delete
I rarely meet a Plectranthus I don't like. Have you grown 'Cerveza and Lime'? They are annuals here so only widely available in the spring. Like Kathy, I'm a horrible keeper of houseplants but maybe I should give one a try.ReplyDelete
I agree - whenever I find a new (to me) Plectranthus, I pick it up, whether I have space for it or not. I haven't come across 'Cerveza and Lime' but I did try a relative, Cuban oregano, once. I lost it when it was still small due to excessive heat exposure - I'll have to try it again.Delete
Oh yes those purple stems and deeply quilted leaves are gorgeous, and the flowers compliment the whole quite nicely. Love it!ReplyDelete
In writing about it, I've reminded myself that I should try cuttings in some of my shadier beds this fall - ease of reproduction is another key attribute.Delete
I had a Plectranthus coleoides 'Nico' similar in leaf to yours which I kept as a houseplant for a couple of years, but it finally failed to recover from wilting, I'm not very good at consistent watering and need really tough houseplants. I was disappointed it never bloomed, it's interesting to read it might have bloomed outdoors. I bought it because I had plant lust for 'Mona Lavender'. Yours is interesting, I'd have to have it as a houseplant. They are great at rooting in water.ReplyDelete
I have a problem with houseplant maintenance too, Hannah.Delete
It's a beautiful plant. I'm only a little envious of your gorgeous climate.ReplyDelete
I expect you'd be a little less envious if you saw our water bill, Peter!Delete
How gorgeous! Looks like one I have that has no ID.ReplyDelete
I didn't have record of the variety either, Deanne, but, after checking photos and descriptions on-line, I'm fairly certain this is 'Zulu Warrior.'Delete