Pseuderanthemum variabile (ACANTHACEAE) Love Flower, Pastel Flower

Plants to Plant

Groundcover plant to 30 cm (a small, soft herb) in complex microphyll closed forest, Bateman’s Bay, south-east NSW to Cape York, North Queensland, NT and Papua New Guinea. Hairy branches and creeping rhizome. Leaves dark green, opposite, hairy above, purplish and dotted with glands below, narrow, lanceolate to oval, tip blunt or sharp, base rounded or wedge-shaped. Groups of 3-5 white, pink, blue or lilac flower – summer to spring. Fruit a hairy capsule to 1.5 cm long. Makes an ideal groundcover, which will spread in a lightly shaded garden, very attractive when in flower. Cuttings of roots or stems strike readily, or self seeded plantlets can be potted up. A good substitute for the many weedy Acanthaceae.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Flowers

White, pink or lilac flowers on terminal spikes from spring to autumn. Will self seed readily in garden or into pot plants. Flower sprays are eaten by Bearded Dragon lizards.
Photo: Dick Harding

Host Plant

Love Flower supports a number of butterflies, including Australian Leafwing, Varied Eggfly, Danaid Eggfly, Blue-banded Eggfly and Blue Argus.
Varied Eggfly. Photo: Mark Crocker