Plumbago auriculata f. alba
Plumbago auriculata f. alba is a sprawling evergreen shrub from the Plumbaginaceae family of plants, it usually grows into a round mound, however, it can also be trained as a climber. They also call it the Plumbago auriculata ‘Alba’, White Cape Leadwort, White Cape Plumbago, Plumbago capensis alba, Plumbago capensis ‘Alba’, or White Plumbago du Cap. It is native to South Africa.
Carl Peter Thunberg named it Plumbago capensis in 1794 since it originated in the Cape region, but later they realized the same plant was discovered by Jean-Baptiste Lamarc in 1786 where he had already named it Plumbago auriculata.
The name auriculata is referring to the shape of leaves as they seem to have ears, and it means with ears. Plumbago auriculata f. alba grows to about 1.8m or 6ft tall. It has tender stems with spoon-shaped, yellow-green leaves. The flowers are white, trumpet-shaped, and five-lobed, and they grow on short racemes. Otherwise, it is identical to the blue-flowered Plumbago auriculata species in description and care. However, the Plumbago auriculata ‘Imperial Blue’ which is another cultivar is more compact with blue flowers. Plumbago auriculata f. alba flower profusely from spring into summer, however, in milder climates, it could flower much longer if not all year.
How to grow Plumbago auriculata f. alba:
Grow Plumbago auriculata f. alba in the sun or partial shade. Protect it from strong winds. Plant it in rich, fertile, and well-drained soil. It is drought-tolerant when established but slightly acidic, moist soils will help it grow during the growing season. It is generally disease-free and pest-free, but watch out for mealybugs, whitefly, and spider mite if grown indoors. Propagate Plumbago auriculata f. alba by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings. Cut the branches by a few buds if you would like them to grow bushier. Plumbago auriculata f. alba is heat tolerant and deer resistant but it attracts butterflies and bees.