Phygelius aequalis

Common Name: phygelius 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Native Range: South Africa
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Crimson to dull red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Naturalize
Flower: Showy


Where winter hardy, this plant is best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Appreciates some part shade during the heat of the day in hot summer climates. Deadhead spent flowers to prolong bloom. This is a suckering subshrub that will spread in optimum growing conditions if not restrained. Low-growing branches may root where they touch the ground. This species basically behaves like an evergreen to semi-evergreen sub-shrub in mild climates (Zones 8-9), an herbaceous perennial in cooler climates (Zones 7), or an annual in cold climates (north of Zone 7). It may survive some mild winters in the St. Louis area (Zone 6a), but should be sited in a protected location and mulched. Geographically, it grows best in Mediterranean-type climates on the West Coast. Plants typically grow poorly in the deep South where they greatly dislike the hot and humid summer conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Phygelius aequalis, commonly known as cape fuschia or phygelius, is a woody-based sub-shrub of the figwort family that typically grows to 2-3’ tall and 1.5-2’ wide bearing showy, trumpet-shaped, pendant, yellow-throated, crimson to dull red flowers in dense pyramidal terminal panicles (to 10” long) with flowers hanging from only one side of the stem. It is native to forested areas, moist slopes, stream banks and open woodlands in South Africa. Flowers bloom throughout summer. Ovate leaves (to 4” long) are dark green.

Genus name probably comes from the Greek word phyge meaning flight or avoidance "in consequence of its having so long escaped the research of botanists", according to W.J. Hooker (1855).

Specific epithet means of equal or similar size.


No known serious insect or disease problems. Winter hardiness is a problem for the St. Louis area.


Sunny borders. Containers.