This is a genus of ten species native to warm regions of Africa and Asia. Plumbago
is a scrambling, shrubby plant from southern Africa
that produces a long season of blue or white flowers. In warm climates, it is
evergreen. The stems can mound on top of one another to a height of four feet
or more. It was once thought to be a cure for lead poisoning. Traditional uses
also include treatment of warts, broken bones and wounds. Also, it has been
used to dispel bad dreams and to ward off lightning. In south Florida, larvae of the cassius blue
butterfly feed on plumbago.
See plumbago at several locations around campus.
Herbaceous perennial with stems that mound on top of one another and scramble over nearby supports to a height of four to eight feet.
Light: full sun to part shade (best flowering in full sun)
Water: very drought tolerant, excess irrigation may be harmful
Soil: well-drained, otherwise no special requirements
Plumbago is near its northern limit as a perennial in north Florida. It dies to the
ground with winter lows in the lower 20’s F. Unprotected plants have recovered
the following spring from winter lows in the upper teens F. It flowers through
summer to the first hard freeze.
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