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Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides Bunge

Plumbago larpentiae Lindl.

Blue Plumbago, Leadwort

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderPlumbaginalesA relatively small order of shrubby or herbaceous plants
FamilyPlumbaginaceaeIncludes the leadwort and plumbago families
GenusCeratostigma
Speciesplumbaginoides

About plant names...

Blue plumbago is native to western China. It is not found in the wild in North America. “Plumbago,” from the Latin plumbum, for lead, refers to the blue flower color of these plants; so does “leadwort.” A mineral sometimes called blue lead ore, also known as galena, is the namesake. (It is a little confusing though, since galena is a very shiny, dark silver color. The blue color comes from a layer of oxidation that sometimes forms on the surface, but I couldn’t find any very convincing photos of this.)

Identification: Plants are 6-12" (15-30 cm) high and about 12-18" (30-45 cm) around, forming mats and often used by gardeners as ground covers. Leaves are oval and shiny, up to 2" (5 cm) long, turning bronze red in the fall. Bright gentian blue 5-petaled flowers, each ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) around, appear in clusters from July to September.

Online References:

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides at Cornell University’s Gardening Guide

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides on eFloras

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides on CalPhotos

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides in Paghat's Garden

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides at FossilFlowers.org

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Blue Plumbago, Leadwort)

9/7/2010 · Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Blue Plumbago, Leadwort)

9/7/2010 · Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Range: Zones 5-9:

About this map...