When I was at the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory last week, I couldn’t help but notice this beautiful blooming plant. It is the Justicia carnea, (juss-TISH-ee-uh) also know as the Brazilian Plume or Flamingo Flower.
It is native to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina in South America.
There they grow in rich, well-drained soil in the shade. Here in North America, it is hardy in Zone 9-11, but is killed back by frost. It is a butterfly and hummingbird attractor. Its big pink plumes of pink flowers are irresistible !
The genus Justicia was named for the18th century Scottish gardener James Justice (1698-1763), a passionate collector of plants and author. These flowers were raised in Victorian conservatories and today can be used as a houseplants which will flower inside with bright light. You will very often see these gorgeous flowers blooming in your local conservatory. They also can be found at your local garden center in the spring to be used in your flowering summer containers. Look for one!