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Trees of the year
Trees of the year

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Scientific name: Plectranthus fruticosus

Family: Lamiaceae

Common names: Blue spur flower (Eng.); Muishondblaar, vlieëbos (Afr.)

april 2017 plant of the month

Description: Plectranthus fruticosus is an evergreen soft shrub that grows about 1,5m x 1m and is very a very fast growing plant.

Leaves are opposite, large, toothed, softly textured heart shaped leaves dotted with golden glands and often purple beneath.

Flower is a pyramidal spike of bluish-mauve.

Flowers are pretty, sweetly fragranced, creamy white; bell shaped and appears in t

Flowering time: Summer and early autumn.

Seed is a small smooth nutlet that can be seen inside the calyx attached to the base.

Origin: South Africa.

Ecological: Insects are attracted to the sweetly scented white flowers and help pollinate them and birds enjoy eating the fleshy fruit.

Plant uses: Pungent leaves and branches of this plant are sometimes hung around the home or rubbed on window sills to repel off flies. Plectranthus fruticosus was used in traditional Roman medicine for it's healing properties, especially for treating burns.

Propagation: Seeds and cuttings can be made at any time of the year, but preferably in summer.


  • Jodamus, N. 2002. Plectranthus fruticosus L'Hérit. 'James'.
  • Joffe, P. 1993. The gardener's guide to South African Plants. Tafelberg, Cape Town.
  • Manning, J. 2009. Field guide to wild flowers of South Africa. Struik Nature Publishers
  • Van Jaarseveld, E. 2006. The Southern African Plectranthus: and the art of turning shade to glade. Fernwood Press.
  • Lukhobaa, C. W.; Simmondsb, M.S.J. and Paton, A. J. 2006. Plectranthus: A review of ethnobotanical uses. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 103: 1-24 Review


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