Phuopsis stylosa, Caucasian Crosswort, Skunk Plant. Phuopsis stylosa 'Purpurglut'
Phuopsis stylosa 'Purpurglut'

Phuopsis stylosa

Caucasian Crosswort, Skunk Plant
Family: Rubiaceae
Origin: Caucasus Mountains, Asia Minor
USDA Zone: 5-10?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapGroundcover and low-growing 2ft plantSmall plant 2-5 ftFull sunModerate waterPink flowersSubtropical or temperate zone plant. Mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

The foliage is a nice contrast to the pink flowers, being mostly in shades of silver and gray.

Phuopsis stylosa is native to the Caucasus Mountains and Asia Minor. It grows in USDA zones 5-10 as a small shrub, typically 2 to 5 feet tall, although it can be trimmed to 2 feet. For best flowering, plant in an area with full sun and moderate water.

For cold regions, Phuopsis stylosa can be grown in a pot or cold frame and maintained in a cool spot over winter. This will allow the groundcover to survive the coldest weather and live for many years. The plant should be watered consistently when planted in a pot, and in cooler climates it may need to be watered more often. If grown in a pot, it should be repotted every few years to prevent it from becoming overgrown and root bound.

For best results when growing Phuopsis stylosa, use a well-drained soil. Feed with a balanced fertilizer throughout the growing season to encourage healthy plant growth and abundant blooms. Prune the plant in late winter to control size and shape of the plant and to encourage new growth. Deadhead spent flowers regularly during the blooming season to keep the plant flowering throughout the summer.

Overall, Phuopsis stylosa is an attractive option for gardeners who are looking for a low-growing, fragrant, and beautiful groundcover. With proper maintenance, it will reward gardeners with its pink flowers and strongly scented foliage for many seasons. Leaves and flowers are aromatic (some say reminiscent of the musky smell of skunk), hence the also sometimes used common name of skunk plant.

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