Galphimia gracilis

Common Name: slender goldshower 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Malpighiaceae
Native Range: Central America
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers freely
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11. May be root hardy to USDA Zone 8 (freeze to the ground in winter but return in spring). Plants are easily grown in fertile, acidic, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Established plants have good drought tolerance (require water only in dry periods). In the St. Louis area, plants may be grown in containers that can be overwintered indoors in a bright sun room. Plants can also be grown as houseplants or in greenhouses. Because of its rapid growth rate, plants may also be grown as flowering annuals by setting out small potted plants in the garden in spring after last frost date. Propagate by seeds or cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Galphemia gracilis, commonly called, spray-of-gold or galphemia, is a loose-growing tropical evergreen shrub that is native from Mexico to Peru. It typically grows to 6-10’ tall in its native habitat. If set out in the garden as an annual in the St. Louis area in spring, plants can grow 3-6’ tall in a single growing season. Short-stalked, alternate, ovate to elliptic, light green leaves (to 2 1/2” long) have two small glands at the margins of each leaf base. Small star-shaped yellow flowers (1/2" long) are loosely packed into terminal racemes which cover the shrub with bloom throughout much of the year (everblooming). Each flower has 5 sepals, 5 petals and 10 red stamens. Flowers give way to fruits (subglobose capsules).

Genus name is an anagram of the related genus Malpighia.

Specific epithet means slender or graceful.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for spider mites.


Where winter hardy, it may be grouped or massed in borders or foundations. Also forms an interesting informal hedge. Containers. Greenhouses. May be grown as an annual.