False eranthemum is a colorful multi-branched shrub. Widely cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics for generations, its native range is obscure due to extensive cultivation. The best guess is Melanesia. The highly variable genus is “taxonomically confused.” Some members were assigned species names when cultivar names would have been more appropriate.
Pseuderanthemum carruthersii var. Atropurpureum (Purple False Eranthemum) and P. carruthersii (El Dorado) are the most commonly grown cultivars. P. carruthersii won’t escape cultivation like some members of the Acanthaceae family. This species may require a specialist pollinator. Fruit and seeds have not been observed in Hawai’i or other tropical places.
New plants are easily reproduced from vegetative cuttings. Pseuderanthemum makes an excellent hedge and tolerates heavy pruning. Pruning will induce more branching, and the new growth will be more colorful, hence a colorful bushy hedge. It can handle moderate salt spray and full sun.
*False eranthemum is easy to confuse with Graptophyllum and some crotons.
- Container plant
- Privacy / screening
- No dangers