Otacanthus caeruleus – Brazilian Snapdragon

Otacanthus caeruleus - Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue

Otacanthus caeruleus - Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Otacanthus caeruleus

Common Names: Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Shrub, Subshrub

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced, Cultivated. Brazilian Snapdragon may be naturalized on the eastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii. This ornamental garden plant is native to Brazil.

Flower Color: Violet-blue to purple

Height: To 4 feet (1.2 m) tall

Description: The flowers have a slender, 1 inch (2.5 cm) long floral tube and are zygomorphic (bilaterally symmetrical) with fan-shaped upper and lower lips. The lower lip has a conspicuous white "eye" at the base. The leaves have depressed, pinnate veins and are green, opposite, sessile, finely toothed, and elliptic to lanceolate in shape. The stems are woody and brownish.

Brazilian Snapdragons can be found growing in partly shady spots at the edge of disturbed moist and mesic forests.

Special Characteristics

Fragrant – The leaves have a minty pine scent.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Scrophulariaceae – Figwort family
Genus: Otacanthus Lindl.
Species: Otacanthus caeruleus Lindl.