There is something irresistible about blue flowers. So as you can imagine, I have been collecting quite a few. But there is one that stands out from the rest – the Otacanthus Caeruleus.
It gives a vivid splash of blue to liven up the floral bed and doesn’t take up much space. Its long stems weave through other plants and appear here and there to show off its blue flowers.
The vibrant blue flowers are two-lipped, with the lower lip sporting a white streak at the throat. The flowers are slightly bigger than a penny, and grow in whorls around the end of the stem.
The flowers are lovely in a vase. Whenever I pick them, the typically sticky leaves emit a pleasant scent. Some people think they smell of pine. I think they smell of camphor.
You won’t need to fuss over the Otacanthus once you plant it. Leave it to grow at will or give the weak, lanky stems some support if you want a neater shape. Either way, the plant will make a statement in the garden.
I plant the Otacanthus Caeruleus in a mixed bed with the angelonia, pentas, asystacia, plumbago and impatiens. Try mass-planting if you want a drift of blue.
This plant is a favourite with the family. Mum likes its flowers, but she doesn’t like its name. “Can’t remember it,” she says. Maybe I should tell her it’s also called Amazon Blue or Brazilian Snapdragon. She calls it the blue ribbon flower. I don’t think the blooms resemble blue ribbons, but I do think they deserve one.
Care and propagation: well drained soil, full sun, water moderately; propagate using cuttings