Justicia aurea

Common Name: yellow jacobinia 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Acanthaceae
Native Range: Central America, Mexico
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 4.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Other: Winter Interest


Winter hardy to USDA Zone 8b where it is best grown in moist, humusy, well-drained soils in part shade. Colorful flower bracts tend to bleach out in full sun, so these plants are generally best grown in part shade areas with protection from hot afternoon sun. Best to water plants from above. Cut back older branches to a node right above the ground in fall. Plants are not winter hardy to the St. Louis area where they must be grown in pots or containers that are overwintered indoors in sun rooms. Indoor plants need full sun.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Justicia aurea, commonly known as yellow jacobinia, is an evergreen shrub that typically grows to 4-8’ tall and to 2-3’ wide. It is native to Mexico and Central America. Erect, tubular, bright yellow flowers in terminal torch-like plumes (to 6-10” long) bloom in summer atop flower stems rising from the dark green ovate to ovate-lanceolate leaves (to 4-12” long).

Genus honors James Justice, 18th Century Scottish horticulturist.

Genus name honors James Justice, 18th Century Scottish horticulturist (1698-1763).

Specific epithet from Latin means golden in reference to flower color.


Leaves may drop if soil is either too wet or too dry. Susceptible to leaf spot. Watch for whiteflies and spider mites, particularly when grown indoors.


Containers. Houseplant.