Plumbago auriculata – Plumbago

Plumbago auriculata - Plumbago, Cape Leadwort, Cape Plumbago

Plumbago auriculata - Plumbago, Cape Leadwort, Cape Plumbago

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Plumbago auriculata

Synonym: Plumbago capensis

Common Names: Plumbago, Cape Leadwort, Cape Plumbago

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Evergreen

Growth Habit: Shrub, Vine, Herb/Forb

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This minimally naturalized and widely cultivated ornamental garden plant is native to southern Africa.

Flower Color: Pale blue, White

Flowering Season: Year-round

Height: Up to 10 feet (3 m) tall, but usually much less

Description: The phlox-like flowers are in rounded clusters at the branched stem tips. The individual flowers are tubular, 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and have 5 spreading, round-tipped lobes. There are sticky, glandular hairs at the base of the flowers. The flowers are followed by sticky seed capsules. The leaves are yellowish green and elliptic, oblanceolate, or spoon-shaped. The stems are weak, green to woody, and erect, sprawling, or climbing.

The native Wild Leadwort (Plumbago zeylanica) has white flowers and much looser flower clusters.

Special Characteristics

Poisonous – The plants are poisonous.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Caryophyllidae
Order: Plumbaginales
Family: Plumbaginaceae – Leadwort family
Genus: Plumbago L. – leadwort
Species: Plumbago auriculata Lam. – Cape leadwort