South African Foxglove

JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)March 17, 2003

I'm not a collector of South African plants, but a wonderful and underrated South African native is Ceratotheca triloba, a.k.a. South African Foxglove. Ceratotheca triloba is an easy, drought tolerant annual in the sesame family. I believe it's technically a perennial but in my area (zone 7a) it isn't hardy; it does reseed itself fairly reliably in my garden.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ceratotheca triloba

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I saw some info on this on the NBI web site some time ago. It looked like a fascinating plant well worth trying here (CA) as a new garden shrub. Can anyone in SA or CA offer advice on hardiness/cold tolerance?

John Ingram

    Bookmark   March 18, 2003 at 11:31AM
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Jon, I just looked at the rest of your photo pages. Really nice. I had looked at them last fall I think. You have done a wonderful job updating them.
Once question I have is that I have Asclepias curr. but mine is a pure yellow. Is this a subspecies or a "whole 'nuther barrel of apples"?
JOhn Ingram

    Bookmark   March 18, 2003 at 11:38AM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

I don't know for sure about hardiness, but I think Ceratotheca might be a short-lived perennial in zones 8-10. It grows and blooms quickly from seed, so I don't try to overwinter it.

It's moderately cold-tolerant, but usually has pretty much finished blooming by the time of our first frost. Keeping seed capsules picked off might extend the bloom (bees love the flowers so virtually every flower gets pollinated). In my zone 7 garden it takes full sun (sometimes wilting in the heat of the day during drought but always springing back) but in your area, I would suggest light mid-day shade. They tolerate drought but will definitely grow and bloom better with ample water!

Asclepias curassavica is a variable species and comes in various shades of red, orange, and yellow. I think the wild form is reddish orange but other colors have been selected in cultivation.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2003 at 1:19PM
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Carletta(9 TX)

I just discovered this forum but I do want to add my praises for the foxglove. I bought this plant a couple of years ago and it is a real trouper. It withstands the heat and dry weather here really well. I don't think you could rely on to make it through even our mild winters but it grows from seed very quickly. In fact, if anyone wants any seed, I have some saved.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2003 at 1:20PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I grew these from seed last year purchased from Franklin Hill. I enjoyed them. They did not however re-seed at all which saddened me, and were not hardy (most zone 8 things are hardy for me)...moisture appeared to have been the culprit, this plant seems to like to have dry feet.
Planted directly from seed it bloomed late, but stayed in flower until frost which was nice. The color however is a bit on the "grey" side of purple and washes out amongst grey-green foliages. Would be a lovely plant against a dark green background.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2003 at 10:33PM
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Rather late to this posting, but I've grown one and it/its offspring come up yearly in my back yard in SF Peninsula
. Good source for plants is from time to time.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 1:20AM
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