Cape plumbago

Plumbago auriculata


The cape plumbago is a large vining evergreen shrub with a mounding habit and easily growing 6-8 ft. tall, spreading 8-12 ft. wide. Foliage is comprised of thin medium green leaves, 2 in. long. Showy light blue flowers grow in large 3-4 in. dia. clusters for many months from early spring through fall.

Cape plumbago comes from mild climate zones of South Africa where it grows in bush and scrub thickets on dry slopes. In the Inland Empire, it is well suited to low frost microclimate zones in sunny areas on well-drained soils. Foliage is can be by temperatures below 25°F, but it will quickly regrow in spring. It easily accepts regular moisture and can become quite large and aggressive. Cape plumbago is most commonly planted as a flowering accent shrub and clipped hedge in residential and commercial landscapes. It is also used as a sprawling ground cover on large slopes in parks and open spaces where it can grow in sun and partial shade. Several cultivars have been introduced over the years, including P. a. ‘Alba’ that has white flowers.

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Sprawling, Robust, Mounding, Dense, Climbing, Arching, Aggressive
Growth Rate: Fast
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Blue
Flower Season: Summer, Spring, Fall
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Heat, All day sun
Function: Slopes, Screening, Residential spaces, Parks and open space, Grouped, Flowering accent plant, Commercial spaces, Banks, Background plant, Attracts butterflies, Hedge
Height: 6 ft. – 8 ft.
Width: 8 ft. – 12 ft.