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Products > Plectranthus montanus
Plectranthus montanus - Camphor Spurflower

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Plectranthus montanus
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Violet
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [Plectranthus cylindraceus, P. marrubioides]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Plectranthus montanus (Camphor Spurflower) A fleshy pleasantly aromatic densely-growing evergreen subshrub that reaches to 18 to 24 inches tall by 2 to 3 feet wide with attractive 1 inch long ovate gray-green leaves that have dentate margins towards the leaf tip and with a velvety texture. The smell of the leaves is likened to that of camphor or menthol. Though not extremely showy and a bit shy to bloom, the small violet colored flowers are in a dense spikes rising 6 to 10 inches above the foliage usually sometime late fall to early spring - we have not seen it bloom in the nursery.

Plant in full coastal sun to light shade and irrigate occasionally to very little. Hardy to 20 F. A useful plant as a groundcover in the dry or succulent garden or in a container or hanging basket.

This plant comes from sandy soil along rocky outcrops and in dry woodlands near the Bashee River in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and north into Namibia. This plant has long been known as Plectranthus cylindraceus but fairly recently it was determined that the plant George Bentham first named the Indian species Plectranthus montanus in 1830 and then the African species Plectranthus cylindraceus in 1848 so when these two species were determined to be conspecific, the earlier name, Plectranthus montanus, took priority. To add to the confusion this plant has also been commonly sold as Plectranthus amboinicus (the name we got it as) but while similar, there are differences with Plectranthus amboinicus, also known as Mexican Mint (though it is from South Africa), having leaves with more of a hastate base and 7 to 11 matching pairs of teeth on the leaf tip and flowers in distinct verticillasters laxly arranged and connate stamens while Plectranthus montanus has leaves with a cuneate base and 3 to 5 pairs of teeth and flowers with stamens free that are densely arranged on the spike. Other common names include Vick's Plant and Mentholatum Plant. We grew thus plant from 2014 until 2021 and we also grew Plectranthus amboinicus

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