Phygelius 'Lemon Spritzer'

Common Name: Cape fuchsia 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Reddish-pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy


Where winter hardy, this plant is best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. 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 hybrid basically behaves like an evergreen to semi-evergreen sub-shrub in mild climates (Zones 8-9), an herbaceous perennial in cooler climates (Zone 7), or an annual in cold climates (north of Zone 7). It may survive some mild winters in the St. Louis area (Zone 6), but should be sited in a protected location and mulched. Geographically, it grows best in Mediterranean-like climates on the West Coast. It typically grows poorly in the deep South where it greatly dislikes the hot and humid summer conditions.

Part shade conditions are more important for ‘Lemon Spritzer’ than for many of the other plants in this genus because the variegated foliage tends to bleach (lose color intensity) if leaves are exposed to unrelenting full sun.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Phygelius is a genus of woody-based sub-shrubs consisting of two species, namely P. aequalis (long tubular flowers hanging from one side of the stem) and P. capensis (long tubular flowers evenly spaced around the stem), both of which are native to South Africa. When these two species are crossed, the resulting hybrid cultivar is often but not always designated as x rectus. Of the various hybrids for sale in commerce today, the parentage is likely to be a cross of the two species, or a cross of one species with an existing hybrid or a hybrid mutation. Hybrids in general typically grow to 2-3’ tall and feature a long summer to fall bloom of pendant tubular flowers in terminal spikes.

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).

‘Lemon Spritzer’ is reportedly the first variegated leaf phygelius to be introduced into commerce. It was discovered growing at a nursery in Albany, Oregon as a whole plant mutation of Phygelius x rectus ‘Sunshine’. ‘Lemon Spritzer’ has yellow leaves that are speckled and blotched with lime and pine green. It grows to 36” tall and as wide. It easily roots from stem cuttings. Opposite, simple, ovate to ovate lanceolate leaves (to 3” long) have serrate margins. Tubular, pendulous, reddish-pink flowers (each to 5/8” long) appear in one-sided pyramidal panicles. Flowers bloom from late spring to fall (June – September). U.S. Plant Patent PP24,294 was issued on March 4, 2014.


No known serious insect or disease problems.


Sunny borders. Containers.