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ACANTHACEAE – Eranthemum – Eranthemum nigrum – Eranthemum pulchellum – Eranthemum wattii


ACANTHACEAE

ACANTHUS FAMILY

CLOCK – VINE FAMILY

Acanthaceae includes approximately 256 genera of perennial herbs, shrubs, and climbers, which are widely distributed in warm tem- perate an tropical regions. Leaves are in opposite pairs, often at right angles to the pair above and below (decussate) an stems are often 4 – angled. Flowers are bisexual and bi – laterally symmetrical. The sepals and petals are fused at their bases. Upper and lower petals are some- times elongated into lips. Bracts are often more showy than the tu- bular on funnel- shapdd flowers. The fruit in a dry capsule that, in cenrtain species, opens explosively to scatter the seed. The shrubby species described here can be used to create informal nat – ural beds in the English perennial garden style or  may be lightly clipped as specimen plants or hedges. Most are suitable for con- tainers. For those that require even moisture, a thick layer of mulch greathly reduces the amount of irri – gation needed.

Eranthemum

Eranthemum includes approximately 30 species of shrubs and subshrubs from tropical Asia. The flowers have a slight bilateral symmetry but may  appear radially symmetrical. They are small and massed in showy clusters. Bracts are relatively small. A  few unnamed but attractive species or cultivars are circulating in the trade.

Eranthemum nigrum

Solomon Islands. Evergreen shrub, 4-5fr, zones 10-11. Blooms warm months. Regular moisture. Fertile, well – drained soil. Full to part sun. Flowers: trumpet – shaped, white, throat spotted with magenta, in many – flowered clusters. Leaves: elliptic, 3-5 in.long, eggplant – purple, glossy or dull, tip narrowing abruptly to a point, margins smooth. Unusual in cultivation. The deep purple foliage is distinctive and offers excellent contrast for the landscape.

Eranthemum pulchellum

Blue sage

Synonyms:   E. nervosum, pseuderanthemum pulchellem. India. Evergreen shrub, 3-5 ft, zones 10-11. Blooms winter, spring. Regular moisture. Fertile, well – drained soil. Part sun to bright broken light. Flowers: trumpet- shaped, blue- violet, lobes almost radially symmetrical, bracts green with conspicuous white veins, in spikes clustured near the ends of the branches. Leaves; elliptic, 4-8 in, long, base tapering, dull green, rough, margins faintly scalloped. Thrives in bright understory. Has a naturally rounded, compact shape. The white -veined bracts and axillary inflorescences distinguish this species from E. wattii.

Eranthemum wattii

India. Evergreen shrub, 3-4 ft, zones 10-11. Blooms winter, spring. Regular moisture when hot, less when cool. Fertile, well – drained soil. Full to part sun. Flowers: trumpet – shaped, blue – violet, lobes spreading: bracts completely green, in erect, terminal spikes. Leaves: elliptic, to 4 in.long, dull green, rough. An open, erect shrub, The inflorescence has larger but fewer flowers than E. pulchellum. Note the terminal inflorescences in the photo.

 

 

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