Ceratostigma willmottianum

29 Oct

Ceratostigma willmottianum flower (16/10/2011, London)

Ceratostigma willmottianum flower (16/10/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Late summer to early august

Soil: Well drained

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 1.5m

Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Plumbaginaceae

Ceratostigma willmottianum is a bushy, deciduous, woody shrub with a  straggly rounded habit. The stems of this plant are slender and straight, the young growth is tinged with dark red, the older growth is dark brown. It’s leaves are spirally arranged, rounded and quite simple. They are 2cm in length and usually have hairy margins (which are usually purple) and turn red in autumn. The tubular hermaphrodite flowers are light blue in colour and appear in the form of dense clusters. The fruit is a small bristly capsule containing a single seed.

Ceratostigma willmottianum Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Ceratostigma willmottianum Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Ceratostigma willmottianum,  commonly known as Hardy Plumbago or Chinese Plumbago, is native to West Sichuan (China) and Tibet.

The etymological root of the binomial name of Ceratostigma is derived from the Greek keras ‘horn-shaped’ and stigma ‘stigma’, referring to the horn shaped stigma. Willmottianum is named after Miss Ellen Willmott (1860-1934), an English amateur gardener and horticulturist and an influential member of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Ceratostigma willmottianum (16/10/2011, London)

Ceratostigma willmottianum (16/10/2011, London)

The landscape architect find Ceratostigma willmottianum useful as a late flowering ground cover plant. This plant is drought tolerant once established.

Ecologically, Ceratostigma willmottianum flowers are attractive to butterflies.

Ceratostigma willmottianum has won the prestigious Royal Horticultural Societies annual Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Ceratostigma willmottianum prefers a fertile, well-drained soil. It will tolerate most pH of soil.

Ceratostigma willmottianum requires little maintenance. This plant may be cut back hard in the spring to promote new vigorous growth.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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