Justicia carnea (ACANTHACEAE) Brazilian Plume Flower

Weeds to Whack

An upright, evergreen shrub, 1-2 metres tall and wide, with large, 15 cm long, dark green leaves and upwardly-facing plumes of tubular, slightly fragrant flower clusters in rose-purple, red, yellow, orange, apricot, or white from early summer. Only one plant seen, persisting from a garden dumping. Cycles through 2 to 4 major flowering periods during the year, with few flowers in between. Many stems appear from the centre of the plant and rise straight up for several feet before branching. The genus Justicia named after an 18th century Scottish gardener James Justice, consists of about 300 species of herbs, shrubs and tender perennial native to the tropics and subtropics and extending into temperate North America. Pronunciation: juss-TISH-ee-uh KAR-nee-uh.

Photo: Robert Whyte