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Products > Plectranthus montanus
 
Plectranthus montanus - Camphor Spurflower
   

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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.  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 motanus [P. cylindraceus].
 
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