For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Groot spoorsalie (Plectranthus ecklonii)

Family Lamiaceae
P. ecklonii has a wide distribution from Somerset east in the Eastern Cape to Barberton in Mpumalanga. It is confined to moist coastal subtropical and afrotemperate Forest and forest margins. Rainfall is mainly during summer ranging between 1 000 and 1 750 mm per annum.
 Plectranthus ecklonii is a soft, erect, fast growing shrub to 3 metres tall. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs on the square stems, the latter with tufts of purplish hairs along the nodes. The ovate to ellilptical leaves are fairly large 74-190 x 35-115 mm bearing a wedge shaped base and acute apex.
The inflorescence is a terminal panicle to 370 mm long. The two-lipped corolla is 15-24 mm long, bluish-purple, rarely pink or white with a straight tube. Plants flower from March to May with a peak in April. The plant has small nutlets which are 2 mm, black or dark brown.
 In the garden Plectranthus ecklonii is an attractive and popular garden subject. Mass planting of the blue, white and pink cultivars are very striking. P. ecklonii is best grown in partial shade. It is recommended for gardens where frost is not too severe. In colder climates it can be grown as a container house plant indoors. P. ecklonii is a fast growing pioneer shrub and very suited for shady gardens. It will flower profusely the first season after planting. Plant about 60 cm apart. Prune back hard after flowering during midwinter.