Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hemizygia transvaalensis aka Syncolostemon obermeyerae

I'd never seen this plant before today. I had weekend watering today and there it was in Polyhouse 7, looking like a rangy variegated wintercreeper with pink flowers. I didn't touch it but research tells me that the leaves are fragrant as leaves of members of the mint family are wont to be. It's really almost too much. Like the variegated Weigela that was on the cover of the Spring Hill catalog for so many years. Actually almost exactly like that on a smaller scale. Are they out of business, Spring Hill Gardens? They used to ship plants so small they were barely more than rooted cuttings, or tiny roots with the barest of shoots. When I was landscaping I had clients from time to time who would order quantities of plants from their seductively colorful catalog, then call me to plant them. You know what? If you get 'em in the ground before they dry out, a surprising number of those macropropagules actually lived. Go figure.

Anyway, I never heard of this plant before, or the genus, actually either of the genera. From South Africa, it's a sub-shrub in the Lamiaceae, growing to almost 2m in height. This plant was identified as the cultivar 'Candy Kisses' which almost makes it worse. Apparently it has made it's way to Australia and to North America too; Brad got hold of this from somewhere.


MulchMaid said...

It has presence, especially sitting in solitary splendor on that plant table. The name is quite a mouthful, too.

south oz said...

not surprisingly there is an uncommon green leaved form of this plant,and as such, a much more subtle and attractive garden plant,as tough as any plectranthus
which it is closely related.

smallhousebiggarden said...

Thank you for this info on the correct botanical name! I just received this plant from and was having trouble finding out much...perhaps the correct identification will help me with researching it!