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Cape Leadwort / Cape Forget-Me-Not

Plumbago Auriculata

Description:

This tough shrub grows well in semi arid areas where water is in short supply. It reaches around three metres and suites being shaped into a boundry wall. Although growth is possible in poor soil conditions, healthy soil and watering produces long lasting flower cycles all through summer. The flowers have sticky gland tipped hairs on the flower calyx which the seed capsul also retains which helps the flowers to distrabute seeds by attaching onto passing animals. Because of this children often stick them to their earlobes to make earings. The plant is also medicinal with its flowers used for reducing swelling and skin irritation. When crushed, the flowers are mixed with aqueous cream and vitiman E oil to form a soothing skin cream for sun burns, spots, rashes, and bruises. A crushed flower or two can be placed over a scrach or bruise and held in place by a plaster to aid in healing. More traditionaly, it is used to dispel bad dreams and a stick of the plant is placed in the thatch of huts to ward off lightning.

Habitat:

Usually a tough plant suited to semi arid regions it has sprung up as a popular garden plant with easy propogation and long lasting blooms.

Notes:

Please note the medicinal properties are considered as home remedies.

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Michael Strydom
Spotted by
Michael Strydom

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Spotted on Jan 3, 2019
Submitted on Jan 3, 2019

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