PLUMBAGO

This afternoon the temperature outside is 34°C – notably cooler than it was this morning – and the humidity is 48% so at this stage most of us are hoping that the thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow will actually arrive. Trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables in the garden are looking shrivelled and stressed – except for the Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata).

Given how green and perky it is looking in this ongoing heatwave, the Plumbago is a textbook example of why it is wise to choose indigenous plants for one’s garden wherever possible. The current crop of sky blue blossoms covering the plants hold an illusionary promise of cool, especially where growing close to shady spots in the garden.

Plumbago blossom

It has proved to be remarkably resilient to drought – hardly ever requiring water. The thick bushy growth of the Plumbago has provided shelter for Bryan the tortoise, Olive Thrushes, Cape Robins and Cape White-eyes. I have often seen Bar-throated Apalises and Greater Double-collared Sunbirds work their way through it too.

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