Whorled Plectranthus


Plectranthus verticillatus (Swedish Ivy)

Plectranthus verticillatus (Swedish Ivy) is a perennial, groundcover up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall. The leaves are often glossy, soft, round…

The plant has aromatic glossy, green, round leaves, which show a deep purple color in the center sometimes and tend to trail, reaching a height of between 10 and 30 cm and extends around 60 cm. This deep purple can also be found on the plant stems and on the underside of leaves. The leaves, which are widely serrated, are fleshy and rounded between 64 and 90 mm, with purple and hairy undersides with reddish sessile glands.

The upright racemes appear white, pale violet or pale pink and can sprout sporadically throughout the year (but more typically in spring and late autumn), which form verticillasters of 2-4 flowers and 2–3 mm bracts. The fruits are 1 mm nuts, brown in colour and wrinkled. [4] [5]

The name "Swedish ivy" is deceptive: the plant is not thigmotropic (meaning it does not cling to walls with the roots when it grows), is not native to Sweden, and is not closely related to the genus of ivy (Hedera). Some variegated, silvery plants called Swedish Ivy grown in pots and hanging baskets are Plectranthus oertendahlii from coastal river gorges of KwaZulu-Natal. [6]

Plectranthus verticillatus is native to southern Africa where it occurs in the Cape Provinces, KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, the Northern Provinces and southern Mozambique. [7] It is found naturalized in El Salvador, Honduras, the Leeward Islands, the Venezuela Antilles, the Windward Islands, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Hawaii as well as south-east Queensland and coastal areas of New South Wales in Australia. [3] [7] [8]

Plectranthus verticillatus is a robust plant doing well in indirect sunlight, mostly cultivated as hanging houseplant. In frost-free areas, it is also found as groundcover in gardens or sprouting down walls. [9] [10]

It likes to stay moist and it also responds well to pruning. It can easily be rooted with cuttings and its vulnerability is low but a weak plant can be infested with spider mites. [11]

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