Native to South Africa, Plumbago, or Cape leadwort, thrives in dry conditions. It was “discovered” by the Dutch East India Company and dispersed along their shipping routes, eventually becoming a standard in European gardens. The common name Cape leadwort and the genus name Plumbago refers to the plants’ ability to cure lead poisoning.
Plumbago is a sprawling shrub somewhere in between a vine and a bush. It should stay under 10 feet tall. Keep trimmed to induce flowering and to reduce leggy growth. Single flowers consist of 5 petals atop a long tube, growing in clusters on the terminal ends. Flowers have sticky glands, perfect for fresh flower stick-on earrings!
It makes a beautiful informal hedge, formal hedge, garden filler, trellis climber, and screening. A favorite for bees and butterflies, brilliant blue flowers are always on display among the evergreen leaves. A perfect plant for xeriscape gardens and other dry areas, it is drought tolerant once established.
- Container plant
- Indoor plant
- Privacy / screening
- No dangers