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Rotheca myricoides ‘Ugandense’

Common Name(s):
Blue butterfly bush
Category:
Shrubs
Comment:

Blue butterfly bush is a low maintenance evergreen shrub in the Lamiaceae family that is native to tropical eastern Africa (Kenya and Uganda).  This lanky shrub is not very vigorous and tends to have anemic green foliage.  It has attractive light blue to violet-blue pea-like flowers and looks great grown in a container, though containers do best if overwintered in a sheltered location.  If a compact form is desired, prune back to the ground in early spring. 

Originally named Clerodendrum ugandense, and later changed to Clerodendrum myricoides ‘Ugandense’, the current name Rotheca myricoides ‘Ugandense’ was applied in 1998 based on the results of DNA studies.

Insect, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems. Aphids, mealybugs, scale, spider mites, and whitefly, can occasionally cause problems. Leaf spot is a disease to watch for.  Grows best in frost-free climates, as it tends to freeze to the ground in zones 8-9.

Season:
Summer to fall
Light:
Sun
Color:
Light blue to violet blue
Height:
6'-10' ft.
Hardiness:
Zones 9b-11
Foliage:
Glabrous, elliptic to narrow-obovate, glossy bright green leaves (to 3-5” long and 1-3” wide) have serrate margins and wedge-shaped bases.
Flower:
Showy violet-blue flowers that resemble a butterfly in flight bloom June-September. The flowers have four light blue side petals (resembling butterfly wings), a fifth dark blue lower petal (resembling butterfly head, thorax and abdomen), and showy, curved, outward-arching, purple stamens (resembling butterfly antennae). A black fleshy fruit appears in the fall.
Zones:
9b-11
Site:
It prefers soils that are moist, well-drained, and have plenty of organic matter. It tolerates full sun to part shade but will perform best in part shade.
Form:
Open
Tags:
container gardening, showy flowers, low maintenance, container, patio, evergreen, showy

NCCES plant id: 44

Rotheca myricoides ‘Ugandense’ Rotheca myricoides ‘Ugandense’
cultivate413, CC BY - 4.0
Rotheca myricoides ‘Ugandense’ Flowers
Forest and Kim Starr, CC BY - 4.0