Succulent Gardening: The Art of Nature

A thru Z | Aeonium | Agaves | Aloes | Cactaceae|
Caudiciforms | Cotyledons & Graptos | Cuttings|
Crassulas, Adromischus, Dudleyas + | Echeveria |
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Gasteria & Haworthia | Kalanchoes | Mesembs |
Othonna~Pelargonium | Sansevieria~Sempervivum |
POTS & Supplies | Sedum | Senecio | Specimens |






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Plectranthus ernestii

Plectranthus ernstii (Bonsai Mint) - A small sub-shrub that grows to about 18 inches tall with very swollen jointed gray stems, small slightly felty aromatic green leaves and light lilac-colored flowers that appear mid spring to late fall. Plant in full to part sun in a well-drained soil. Water regularly. Hardy only to a light frost - this plant is best put under protection when temperatures drop much below freezing. The quite distinctive caudex makes this plant an great addition to a container succulent garden or as an interesting bonsai plant. This plant comes from rocky slopes from the summer rainfall, near frost-free regions of northern Eastern Cape to the Southern KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'plektron' meaning a "spur" and 'anthos' meaning "flower" in reference to the spur that is found at the base of the corolla tube of the type species Plectranthus fruticosus. Though often found under the name Plectranthus ernestii (we long spelled it this way!), the correct spelling for the specific epithet is "ernstii". This name given to this plant by Leslie Edward Wastell Codd to honor Ernst van Jaarsveld, horticulturist at the South African Royal Botanic Garden at Kirstenbosch and author of the book The South African Plectranthus who discovered this plant in 1977 growing in the Oribi Gorge in southern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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