Bush Violet

Barleria obtusa

Barleria, Bosviooltjie (Afr.), Idololenkonyane

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A fast growing, evergreen flowering shrub with dainty purple flowers (during Autumn). Also known to flower in late winter to early spring. It is fairly drought resistant, but regular watering encourages growth. Pruning in winter is necessary to keep it in a compact shape with new growth for spring. Flowers attract butterflies. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Autumn

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Collect seeds when the seed capsule becomes woody and brown in colour before they are naturally dispersed. Collect flowers as they appear from April-May.

Propagation

Seed

Sow seeds in well-drained seed trays. Cover with coarse river sand and keep in a shaded area. Self-seeding also regularly takes place.

Cuttings

Take semi-soft wood cuttings during summer. Dip the base in hormone powder to stimulate root development. Expect results in approximately 4 weeks.

Layering

Use long branch that hasn't flowered. Bend down during autumn towards hole filled with coarse river sand. Remove leaves near area touching soil. Score underside. Peg branch into hole. Keep moist.

Special features

Attracts useful insects

Lovely flowering shrub for the garden that attracts butterflies.

Drought resistant

Can survive for extended periods with little watering and popular in xeriscaping.

Autumn colour

Leaves turn a red-bronze colour during autumn.

Special features

Origin

Southern Africa

Natural climate

Bushveld, thicket, grasslands.

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Notes

Lovely flowering shrub for the garden that attracts butterflies.

Personality

Family

Acanthaceae

Flower colour

Purple

Scent

None

Problems

Might be attacked by whiteflies, red spider mites and aphids when grown in a greenhouse.

Credits

profile iconBarleria obtusa
by Megan Isaacs, Kirstenbosch National Bootanical Garden, 28 April 2001 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
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Knowledge and advice

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