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Products > Coleonema album
Coleonema album - White Breath of Heaven

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

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Rutaceae (Citrus)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [Diosma alba]
Height: 4-5 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Coleonema album (White Breath of Heaven) - This is a light, wispy evergreen shrub which grows to 4 to 5 feet tall and as wide with small soft needle-like fragrant foliage that densely clothes the many branches. From pinkish buds the small solitary white flowers crowd the tips of the branches in the winter and spring with such profusion that the plant looks like a cloud of starry white flowers. These flowers have a honey fragrance and attracts bees and butterflies. Plant in full sun to part shade with regular water. It is hardy to about 25 degrees F and tolerates near seaside planting. A great plant for and informal short hedge or near a pathway where its aromatic foliage can be brushed. It is a good filler in floral arrangements. This plant is found naturally growing in coastal areas from Saldanha Bay to the Cape Peninsula in South Africa with the furthest inland locations only about 12 miles from the sea near the base of the southern end of the Bredasdorp Mountains. The name for the genus come from the Greek words 'koleos' meaning "a sheath" and 'nema' meaning "a thread" or "filament" because the filaments of the sterile stamens are enclosed within a fold of the petals. The specific epithet is the from the Latin word 'albus' meaning white in reference to the flower color. This plant was long called Diosma in the trade and other common names include Cape May and White Confetti Bush. We also grow the pink flowering species Coleonema pulchellum, a compact form of this species Coleonema pulchellum 'Compact Form' and a golden foliage form Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Coleonema album.