Eranthemum pulchellum

Common Name: blue sage 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Acanthaceae
Native Range: India, Himalayas, western China
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 2.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Gentian blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA zones 10-11 where it is typically grown in rich well-drained soils with consistent moisture in full sun to part shade. Best with some afternoon shade. Propagate from cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Eranthemum pulchellum, commonly called blue sage, is a tropical evergreen shrub that grows in an upright-open form to 2-5' tall. It is native to India and China. It is noted for its axillary and terminal spikes (3-6" long) of gentian blue flowers (each 3/4" diameter). Where winter hardy, blooms of this shrub usually appear most profusely in late winter to early spring, but continue throughout most of the year. Each flower spike is subtended by showy green and white veined floral bracts which remain after the flowers drop. Ovate to elliptic medium green leaves (to 4-8" long).

Genus name comes from the Greek word eranthemon an old name transferred to this genus.

Specific epithet means pretty.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Scale, mealy bugs and nematodes may appear. Watch for mites.

Garden Uses

Where winter hardy, it is effective massed, in groups or as a specimen. Good from border fronts. Where not winter hardy, it may be grown in greenhouses or in containers overwintered indoors.