Verbascum 'Caribbean Crush'

Common Name: verbascum 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Orange, yellow and mango
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions including poor dry soils, but must have good drainage. Remove spent flower spikes immediately after bloom to encourage additional bloom and to prolong the life of this short-lived perennial. May be propagated by root cuttings in late winter to early spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Verbascum is a genus of about 350 species of mostly biennial plants but also some annuals, perennials and sub-shrubs. They are native from Europe to North Africa to Western and Central Asia. They are grown for their attractive flower spikes.

The genus name Verbascum comes from the Latin word barbascum which means "bearded", in reference to the hairy stamen filaments of some species.

‘Caribbean Crush’ is an upright, rosette-forming, short-lived verbascum that is noted for its tropical blend of flower colors on the same plant. It is an erect, clump-forming plant that forms a large basal rosette (to 1.5’ wide) of woolly, ovate-oblong, coarsely-toothed, long-stalked, gray-green leaves (to 10” long) from which rise multiple, erect flowering stems (2-4’ tall) bearing long terminal spikes of large, 5-lobed, nearly flat flowers (to 1” diameter) in colors ranging from burnt orange to yellow to mango on the same plant. Stem leaves are narrow, stalkless and much smaller. Long late spring to summer bloom period with a possible fall rebloom. U.S. Plant Patent applied for (PPAF).

Problems

Susceptible to spider mites in hot conditions. Plants grown in rich, fertile soils grow taller and may need staking or other support. Wet, poorly drained soils are usually fatal.

Garden Uses

Borders and cottage gardens. Good vertical accent. Grows well in poor soils and will grow well on dry, rocky slopes or scree.