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The big, showy flowers originate from new shoots formed at the base of the pseudobulb. They are pink to purplish, white or yellow, while the fringed, tubular lip is often paler or white, with yellow, red or purple dots and stripes.
They are very closely related to the genus Coelogyne and were once considered part of it.
There are over 300 species of Tibouchina. Tibouchina multiflora has huge leaves(up to 10" in diameter), velvet and "hairy" - nice to touch -they tend to turn orange/red at the lower part of the trunk. Tibouchinas are tropical and subtropical plants. The frost kills the plant to the ground, and it grows back in the spring. They are covered with flowers durning several months, at the end of summer. After each blooming cycle, prune and fertilize with fertilizer for acid loving plants. The Tibouchinas like a good proportion of organic content in the soil.
Plumbago auriculata, commonly known as Blue Plumbago, is native to South Africa, the Himalayas, and China and can be found in tropical and sub-tropical gardens where it is used to create beautiful hedges or low shrubs due to its ability to withstand a variety of conditions. It grows best in full sun and reaches a height of 5-10 feet, however when planted in less sunny climates it can be kept as a semi-shrubby evergreen and kept at a height of 2-5 feet.
Plumbago can handle drought and poor soil conditions, but in areas with heavy rainfall its foliage and flowers may become crushed so it's best suited to slightly higher altitudes. Pruning is key to its success as it needs to be cut back to the ground at least once a year to maintain its healthy growth. Propagation is done through green cuttings or dividing of its roots.
Not only are the delicate lavender-purple or blue flowers of Plumbago aesthetically pleasing but it offers a wide range of benefits for pollinators like hummingbirds, butterflies, and beneficial insects. Additionally, it is known for its salt-tolerance, making it an excellent choice for seaside gardens.
For gardeners living in cooler climates, Plumbago is easily kept inside in a container as it is a suitable houseplant. For best results, keep the soil moist and make sure the container is appropriately aerated. During colder months, bring the container inside and place it in the sunniest window in the home. Additionally, be sure to check up on the soil periodically as it can be overly saturated during the spring or overly dry during winter. Give your plant the occasional fertilizing session to keep it healthy and well-nourished.
Polygala is an old Greek name from the words polys meaning much and gala meaning milk, the name given to this genus for some of its members which have the reputation for promoting the secretion of milk. The species name myrtifolia means myrtle-like leaves. Polygala myrtifolia varies in form as it changes to adapt to the different areas it grows in, from the harshness of the coast to the drier inland climates. An evergreen shrub, the most common forms reach about 3 to 4 ft in height with a few upright-growing stems and slender branches densely covered with leaves that resemble myrtle. The oval-shaped leaves are usually 1" to 2" long and up to 0.5" wide. The leaves are light green, dark green or slightly grey. The flowers are carried in small clusters at the ends of short branches and look a bit like legume (pea or bean) flowers, but are actually quite different. Close inspection will reveal that although they have two wings and a keel, they lack the banner (also called standard) petal. All polygalas also have a showy, and very distinctive brush-like tuft on the keel. The showy petals, beautifully marked with darker veins, are usually in shades of mauve or purple, but can also be pink scarlet, or white. Polygala myrtifolia has blooms throughout the year with a peak in spring when the plants flower profusely. The fruit is a small, winged capsule. In the new garden it is excellent as a fast growing windbreak, hedge and colorful shrub able to grow in most soil types from full sun to semi-shade. Its growth is a bit more lax, producing fewer flowers in the shade, but it grows happily in the difficult pockets that change from full sun to semi-shade with the seasons. Polygala myrtifolia can easily be propagated from seed and tip cuttings preferably taken in spring and autumn.
Polygala × dalmaisiana is the result of crossing P. myrtifolia with P. fruticosa.