Justicia brasiliana

Justicia brasiliana

This compact shrub from Brazil grows to about a metre tall and is a member of the broad Acanthaceae family. There are a number of other easy-to-grow plants in the genus Justicia. This one has been previously called Dianthera nodosa but appears to be currently classified as a Justicia. I have previously referred to it as Justicia nodosa but this appears to have been incorrect. The pretty pink, fan-like flowers appear in the leaf axils and cascade down along the arching branches. It blooms from late summer all through autumn. Like many of the Acanthaceae family, it tolerates shade and will thrive in spots under trees even where there is some root competition.

It is a useful underplanting for the other shade-loving shrubs flowering in late summer and autumn, including Camellia sasanqua, cane and shrub Begonia, Plectranthus and Hypoestes aristata. It should be pruned in August to promote a more compact shape. It is easily propagated from cuttings taken in spring or autumn.

Flowers in February, March, April, May.