San Marcos Growers LogoSan Marcos Growers
New User
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
Nursery Closure
Search Utilities
Plant Database
Search Plant Name
Detail Search Avanced Search Go Button
Search by size, origins,
details, cultural needs
Website Search Search Website GO button
Search for any word
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings


  for JULY

Natives at San Marcos Growers
Succulents at San Marcos Growers
 Weather Station

Products > Plectranthus ciliatus 'Drege'
Plectranthus ciliatus 'Drege' - Spur Flower
Image of Plectranthus ciliatus 'Drege'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: Africa, Central (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer/Winter
Height: 1 foot
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Shade
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32° F
Plectranthus ciliatus 'Drege' (Eyelash Spur Flower) - Evergreen perennial groundcover (technically a sub-shrub) that grows to 1 foot tall by several feet wide with a unique broadly elliptical leaf that has a green upper side and purple underside with small, stiff white hairs. Stems and flower stalks are also purple with the later rising above the foliage in the summer through to winter bearing small pale pink, nearly white, flowers.

Will grow in coastal full sun but does best in light or part shade - tolerates deep shade but loses its red coloration. Give regular to frequent irrigation. Hardy to around 28° F - in cooler climates stems can be rooted rapidly and held indoors for spring planting. Trim off spent flowers to keep tidy. A nice shade plant that can be used as a ground cover or in a hanging basket where the colorful undersides of the leaves can be enjoyed.

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 comes from the Latin word 'cilia' meaning "fine hairs" for the fringe of hairs along the leaf margins. This cultivar was named for Johann Franz Drège (1794-1881), a German horticulturist who came to the Cape Region of South Africa in 1826 and over the next 8 years collected thousands of plant specimens including many new Plectranthus. His name was commemorated with the name Plectranthus dregii but this name was later determined conspecific with Plectranthus ambiguus, a plant Drège himself had first collected. Drège first collected Plectranthus ciliatus in 1832 at the Mzimvubu Rivers in what is now the independent Republic of Transkei that is surrounded by South Africa. The species was introduced at The National Botanic Garden at Kirstenbosch in 1932 and has become a popular groundcover in Europe, Australia and California. Ernst van Jaarveld notes in The South African Plectranthus that the cultivar 'Drege' (or more properly 'Drège') was likely a form that originally came from the Port. St. John region.

In 2018 Alan Paton, Head of Collections at the Royal Botanic Garden Kew, did a revision of Plectranthus and related plants (Paton, A.; Mwanyambo, M. & Culham, A. (2018). "Phylogenetic study of Plectranthus, Coleus and allies (Lamiaceae): Taxonomy, distribution and medicinal use". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 188 (4): 355–376.). The new names were clarified in 2019 in an article titled "Nomenclatural changes in Coleus and Plectranthus (Lamiaceae): a tale of more than two genera" in PhytoKeys (PhytoKeys 129 (2019) which transferred many of the Plectranthus and the related genus Pycnostachys into the genus Coleus. One such plant was Pycnostachys ciliata from Tanzania, which became Coleus ciliatus. This might cause some confusion since both Coleus ciliatus and Plectranthus ciliatus are valid names for different plants and 'Drege' is still considered to be a cultivar of Plectranthus ciliatus. 

This information about Plectranthus ciliatus 'Drege' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.