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Products > Plectranthus neochilus 'Mike's Fuzzy Wuzzy'
 
Plectranthus neochilus 'Mike's Fuzzy Wuzzy' - Lobster Flower
   

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Blue
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [Coleus carnosus, C. neochilus ]
Height: 1-3 feet
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Plectranthus neochilus 'Mike's Fuzzy Wuzzy' (Variegated Lobster Flower) - A perennial, aromatic, succulent herb, which grows as a ground-hugging mat under 1 foot tall (a little taller in shade or when well watered) with rounded slightly scalloped gray-green foliage and deep blue and purple flowers that rise 3 to 6 inches above the foliage from spring through late fall to nearly year-round. This plant makes an attractive ground cover when not in flower and is spectacular when flowering. It is also useful in hanging baskets and containers. Plant in bright shade to full sun near the coast. Useful in difficult dry sites as long as soil drains adequately and responds well to winter rains and occasional irrigation. Hardy to around 30 F and is treated as an annual in colder climates. The skunky aromatic foliage makes this plant somewhat deer resistant and in South Africa is even thought to repel snakes. A gardener in the San Francisco Bay area also tells us that even snails leave Plectranthus neochilus alone. We received this plant from Mike Tully of Terra Sol Garden Center in Santa Barbara who told us he found it at Michael Kartuz's nursery Kartuz Greenhouses. To honor both men we christened it "Mike's Fuzzy Wuzzy". Plectranthus neochilus grows naturally in dry thickets, and rocky woodlands, from the Eastern Cape to the Natal in in South Africa and in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. This plant has slightly shorter inflorescence than the typical Plectranthus neochilus in the California nursery trade, which might make it fit better with the very similar Plectranthus ornatus and some suggest it might be a selection of Plectranthus carinus, but we feel this off base as this species is an upright shrub with smaller flowers in evenly and closely spaced whorls. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'plektron' meaning a "spur" and 'anthos' meaning "flower" in reference to the spur that is found at the base of the corolla tube of the type species, Plectranthus fruticosus. The specific epithet neochilus comes from the Greek words 'neo' meaning "new" and 'chilus' meaning "lip", presumably referring to the large lower lip of the flower and the ethymology of the name 'ornatus' is Latin for "showy" or "ornamaental". We also grow the non-variegated species Plectranthus neochilus This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Plectranthus 'Mike's Fuzzy Wuzzy'.
 
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