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Plumbago auriculata ( चित्रक )

Plumbago auriculata ( चित्रक )

Plumbago is an introduced shrub, native to South Africa, which is perennial (active throughout the year). There are three varieties I am going to write about, variation mainly being in the flower color - Red, Blue and white.  

The leaves are pale green and plant is green throughout year and flowers except the winter months. Flowers appear in bouquet of 8-15. Shrub is dense and I have seen it grown upto 5-6 feet height whereas Wiki reports that it can ascend upto 20 feet.

Host plant of Zebra Blue: 

Zebra blue laying egg on plumbago
This is one of the host plant for a butterfly called Zebra Blue (Leptotes plinius). Sometimes Zebra blue is also known as Plumbago blue for obvious reasons. Caterpillars feed on the buds, peduncles and remains hidden inside. Camouflage and hiding place is the main reason  why caterpillars resides on peduncles. 


plumbago, blue, zebra blue
Inflorescence of Blue Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)
The plant is frequently used as garden plant mainly because of the perennial nature.

It is used extensively in medicines for curing skin diseases and against microbial infections. It also posses anti-fertility and anticancer capabilities. However it is supplied in small doses, as overdose may cause heart and nervous system problem. 

Other two Varieties: 

Inflorescence Red Plumbago (Plumbago indica)

White Plumbago (Plumbago zeylanica)

Quick Facts:

Common name: Plumbago, Cape Leadwort

Botanical name: Plumbago auriculata 

Family: Plumbaginaceae (plumbago family)

Synonyms: Plumbago capensis [1]



  1. Lovely! I am trying to grow it.

  2. Lovely! Will the Indian soil condition be suitable for the growth of the plants?

    1. TY Arumugam ji. These flowers have already survived and doing well in Indian soil. :-)

  3. Replies
    1. Yes Aparna ji. These are so beautiful flowers.

  4. Very nice info and nice pics..

  5. where can i get this plant please give me the address so that i can get it

    1. Dear Sree vidya, please search nearby nurseries. As I have mentioned its a very common plant. In Mumbai, you can get in Maharashtra Nature Park, Dharavi.


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