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Products > Plectranthus ernstii
Plectranthus ernstii - Bonsai Mint

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: Violet
Bloomtime: Summer
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: P. ernestii, Hort.]
Height: 1 foot
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Plectranthus ernstii (Bonsai Mint) - A small sub-shrub that grows to about 18 inches tall with very swollen jointed gray stems, small slightly felty aromatic green leaves and light lilac-colored flowers that appear mid spring to late fall. Plant in full to part sun in a well-drained soil. Water regularly. Hardy only to a light frost - this plant is best put under protection when temperatures drop much below freezing. The quite distinctive caudex makes this plant an great addition to a container succulent garden or as an interesting bonsai plant. This plant comes from rocky slopes from the summer rainfall, near frost-free regions of northern Eastern Cape to the Southern KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa. 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. Though often found under the name Plectranthus ernestii (we long spelled it this way!), the correct spelling for the specific epithet is "ernstii". This name given to this plant by Leslie Edward Wastell Codd to honor Ernst van Jaarsveld, horticulturist at the South African Royal Botanic Garden at Kirstenbosch and author of the book The South African Plectranthus who discovered this plant in 1977 growing in the Oribi Gorge in southern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We thank our friend John Bleck was bringing this wonderful small succulent Plectranthus to our attention.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Plectranthus ernstii.