Rotheca myricoides

Rotheca myricoides
Botanical Garden Meise

Rotheca myricoides or Blue Butterfly Flower is a shrub that is grown primarily for its flowering panicles of blue and fragrant flowers that last from April until September. Flowering attracts butterflies and bees.

It reaches 3 m in height but may be pruned.

This shrub is hardy in USDA zone 8 and resistant to frost till  -9 ° C, but the plant dies back to the root ball and grows back in the spring. It is recommended to treat is as an orangery plant and keep it inside in winter at 5 °C.

Description:

Rotheca myricoides is an evergreen shrub up to 3 m high and wide.

It has opposite egg shaped, sharply toothed, 7.5-10 cm long leaves.

The inflorescences are appear at the end of long arching branches. These are panicles 10-25 cm long, composed of individual flowers about 2.5 cm long. The flowers have 4 pale blue lobes and 1 darker blue-violet elongated central lobe, making them look like little butterflies.

Flowering occurs throughout the summer into the fall.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Blue Butterfly Bush, Blue Butterfly Flower, Blue Cat’s Whiskers, Butterfly Clerodendrum, Butterfly Bush, Blue Glory Bower, Blue Wings

Synonyms:

Clerodendrum myricoides, Clerodendrum ugandense, Cyclonema myricoides, Siphonanthus myricoides, Spironema myricoides

Etymology:

Rotheca: unknown
Myricoides: resembling a kind of Myrica, with reference to the shape of the sheet

Origin:

Tropical Africa

Habitat:

Grows in thickets in rocky areas along streams and at the edges of coniferous forest, between 0 and 1,500 m altitude.



Hardiness:

USDA zones 9-11, -9 °C

Propagation:

Seed, green stem cuttings or suckers

Care:

Soil:

Rich and well drained

Exposure:

Sun, partial shade

Water:

Keep the soil moist, especially in summer when growing and flowering

Fertilizer:

Universal liquid fertilizer once a week in growing season, once a month in winter.

Image sources

  • Rotheca myricoides: Own work

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