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Bush violet

Barleria obtusa

Bosviooltjie (Afr.)

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A fast growing, evergreen flowering shrub with dainty purple flowers (during Autumn). Also known to flower in late winter to early spring. It is fairly drought resistant, but regular watering encourages growth. Pruning in winter is necessary to keep it in a compact shape with new growth for spring. Flowers attract butterflies.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Autumn
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Collect seeds when the seed capsule becomes woody and brown in colour before they are naturally dispersed. Collect flowers as they appear from April-May.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in well-drained seed trays. Cover with coarse river sand and keep in a shaded area. Self-seeding also regularly takes place.
Cuttings
Take semi-soft wood cuttings during summer. Dip the base in hormone powder to stimulate root development. Expect results in approximately 4 weeks.
Layering
Use long branch that hasn't flowered. Bend down during autumn towards hole filled with coarse river sand. Remove leaves near area touching soil. Score underside. Peg branch into hole. Keep moist.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Lovely flowering shrub for the garden that attracts butterflies.
Drought resistant
Can survive for extended periods with little watering and popular in xeriscaping.
Autumn colour
Leaves turn a red-bronze colour during autumn.

Geography

Origin
Southern Africa
Natural climate
Bushveld, thicket, grasslands.

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Notes
Lovely flowering shrub for the garden that attracts butterflies.

Personality

Family
Acanthaceae
Flower colour
Purple, violet, mauve, pink or white.
Scent
None

Problems

Might be attacked by whiteflies, red spider mites and aphids when grown in a greenhouse.

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