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Products > Plectranthus lanuginosus
Plectranthus lanuginosus - Downy Spur-Flower

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Blue
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Synonyms: [Coleus lanuginosus]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Plectranthus lanuginosus (Downy Spur-Flower) - An herbaceous low growing and dense subshrub to 10 to 18 inches tall by 3 feet wide with soft slightly fuzzy dark green rounded ovate leaves. From early fall through late winter appear the electric blue flowers on 4 to 6 inch tall inflorescences. Plant in a well-drained soil in full coastal sun to bright shade and irrigate occasionally to infrequently - taller with more regular irrigation and particularly drought tolerant in the shade garden. Hardy to 25 F. A light trim after flowering will keep this plant neater looking. A nice container or hanging basket plant and in the ground will grow as a solid weed smothering groundcover with showy blue flowers and, unlike some other Plectranthus species, this one does not have foliage with a strong aroma. This plant was first collected in Somalia but known also in the highlands of Ethiopia, Yemen and Eritrea and naturalized in east Africa as far south as Zimbabwe. It was first described by George Bentham in 1848 as Coleus lanuginosus in Augustin Pyramus de Candolle's Prodomus Vol. XII. It has also sometimes incorrectly been identified as Plectranthus barbatus, a much larger upright shrubby plant that we also grow. This likely because of a previous name for Plectranthus lanuginosa was Coleus barbatus var. schimperi. 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 from the Latin word 'lanugo' meaning "covered with down" or "fine soft hair" from the Latin root word 'lana' meaning wool.  The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted on this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in the nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we have observed it. We also have incorporated 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 lanuginosus.