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Plectranthus ernstii or bonsai spurflower is a slow growing, erect, semi-succulent perennial with swollen stems and a compact habit that resembles a bonsai, ideal for pot plants and rockeries. It is pleasantly aromatic, herbaceous and grows up to 25 cm tall, branching from the base. The stems are greyish, jointed and swollen, and become brown and potato-like with age. The leaves are aromatic and semi-succulent, ovate to broadly ovate to semi-triangular, with pronounced rounded marginal teeth. The upper-surface is sparsely covered in short fine soft hairs, and the under-surface is covered in minute hairs and pale to reddish brown gland-dots. The leaves turn sometimes rose pink during cooler autumn nights.
Not usually harvested
Take 10-15cm cuttings and root in well-draining sandy soil.
Sow seed in Spring and Summer. Germination time is about 21 days.
Full Shade, Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun
Soil PH preference
Makes interesting bonsai shapes!
Purple, Blue, White
by Kyle Smith & Alice Notten, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Andrew Hankey, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, Sumarie Slabber, Pretoria National Herbarium, February 2012 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)