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Products > Plectranthus neochilus
Plectranthus neochilus - Lobster Flower

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Blue
Bloomtime: Year-round
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [Coleus neochilus P. x caninus,P. 'Lois Woodhull']
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 (Lobster Flower) - A perennial, aromatic, succulent herb, which grows as a ground-hugging wide spreading 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 (some say they bloom 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. This plant responds well to winter rains and occasional irrigation. Hardy to at least 30 F and is treated as an annual in colder climates - here in Santa Barbara the plants are often in bloom year-round, including in the dead of winter. The skunky aromatic foliage makes this plant somewhat deer resistant and in South Africa the plant is even thought to repel snakes. A gardener in the San Francisco Bay area also tells us that even snails leave it alone. We have also seen references to it being marketed as a repellent to dogs and then grown under the ficticious, but amusing, name Plectranthus x caninus and it seems to also be around under the name Plectranthus 'Lois Woodhull'. 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. 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 Greek words 'neo' meaning "new" and 'chilus' meaning "lip", presumably referring to the the large lower lip of the flower. We also grow a variegated form that we call Plectranthus neochilus 'Fuzzy Wuzzy' The information on this webpage is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of it as it grows in the nursery in containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it growing. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Plectranthus neochilus.